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The ERT Group of 55 European industrial companies, whose total annual revenues exceed €2 trillion, has published a document assessing the implementation of 5G technology in European countries. Slow implementation of the technology is a threat to the European supply chain.
Compared to the rest of the world, Europe is doing worse
According to the “Assessment of 5G Deployment Status in Europe” report prepared by the European Round Table for Industry (ERT), 5G technology in Europe lags far behind other world regions. The implementation of the 5G network is a key and both a strategic element of the transformation in Europe that can drive the entire industrial sector. The delays associated with the Covid-19 pandemic and the slow policy of EU authorities have led to a situation where more than half of the EU-27 countries have not yet launched 5G networks.
The point of reference for the situation in Europe is the policy of South Korea. The ERT document shows that Europe has deployed only 10 5G base stations per million inhabitants, while South Korea 1500. The same is true for the modernization of 4G base stations. Europe has improved only 1% of the stations, South Korea 98%.
Europe also deviates when allocating frequencies to specific operators. South Korea and China completed this process in 2018 and 2019. In the case of the EU, only 1/3 of the EU countries allocated frequencies to specific operators, and in Poland the first allocation of frequencies in the 3.6 GHz bands is planned for the first quarter of 2021.
,,To close this gap, we urgently need a “European agreement” to introduce 5G ̶ that will provide a more harmonised approach to 5G spectrum, allocation and operation and better regulatory incentives for private investment. 5G technology is at the heart of our digital future – and digital technology will strengthen the energy transformation, innovation and an entirely new world of employment opportunities. This is essential for a successful EU Green Deal. Everything is connected – that is why it is such a fundamental part of the equation”. – concluded Martin Lundstedt, Chairman of the ERT Digital Transformation Committee