A lack of action on 5G rollout risks Europe being left behind

Europe is far from reaching Digital Decade connectivity targets and is now painfully behind other advanced regions in digital connectivity and digital offerings for businesses and consumers”. This stark warning on the state of Europe’s 5G rollout came from Kalvin Bahia, Principal Economist at GSMA Intelligence, at a recent dinner discussion hosted by The Parliament.

Whilst Europe was once a connectivity powerhouse, recent developments in network technology have left Europe straggling behind other areas of the world. “The ecosystem of connectivity was European, we led the way” Ben Wreschner, Chief Economist of Vodafone Group reminded the room. Following the founding of 3G, the majority of its early usage was in Europe. But as subsequent generations of mobile technology have been introduced, this percentage has seen a rapid drop-off: just 11% of the first 500 million users of 4G technologies came from the EU, and the launch of 5G has told a similar story. Only 4% of the first 500 million users of 5G came from the EU, whereas 71% came from China. When scaling this figure up to the first 100 billion users, the EU’s tale is equally as torrid with just 6% of users of the technology coming from the region. These figures leave a lot to be desired.

Read the full story in The Parliament