GSMA calls to speed up the digitalisation of industrial Europe
5G must be a funding focus
“The Commission’s Industrial Strategy needs 5G to succeed, and 5G needs funding to succeed,” said Afke Schaart, the GSMA’s Vice President and Head of Europe. “Achieving the European Union’s connectivity goals for 2025, including 5G in all urban areas, will cost an estimated €500 billion – almost four times the amount European operators invested over the past five years to roll out 4G.”
The GSMA agrees that the Commission must focus on not only the quantity and quality of R&D investments, but also on the direction. Programmes like Horizon 2020 and InvestEU must remain top priorities in the new EU budget. Currently, only an estimated 3% of the proposed budget for 2021-2027 is directed toward the digital transformation of European society.
The consequences of the Commission’s industrial policies will reverberate for many years, shaping what 5G will look like across Europe. To fuel industrial demand for 5G, the Commission must promote market structures that foster a competitive landscape that is pro-investment and pro-innovation. That will empower European companies to compete and win against international titans.
The GSMA, which represents more than 200 European telecoms operators, stands ready to work with the Commission to achieve many shared goals for 2025, including around data/AI, standardisation, climate change and Europe’s single market.