A new report released by the European telecom association ETNO estimates that 73% of Europe’s population will have access to 5G networks by end-2022, with 55.6% of Europeans having access to fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks, up from 50%. Despite this growth however, the EU still lags far behind other global peers in terms of 5G coverage and investment per capita adjusted to GDP.
The total capex for telecommunications markets is estimated at 56.3 billion euros for 2021 according to ETNO’s report findings. While these figures are promising, they highlight the need for more concerted efforts if Europe wishes to keep up with other global digital infrastructure developments and deployments.
Despite this, the EU still risks falling short of its “gigabit for all by 2030” target by 10%. This highlights the need for increased funds and resources to be placed into digital infrastructure development across Europe if it hopes to match its global counterparts in providing sufficient access and coverage. With current projections regarding the roll out of 5G technology and FTTH networks across Europe, it is important that governments, telecom providers and businesses play their part in ensuring sufficient funding is available so that all can benefit from these services in a timely manner.
In order to achieve this goal, significant investments will be required over the coming decade. Governments must focus on establishing regulations which encourage competition among telecommunications providers while also protecting consumers from unfair rates or practices. In addition, telecom providers must work together with government regulators to develop policies which balance fair pricing strategies with investment incentives that allow them access to much needed funds. Lastly, businesses should consider investing in technological advancements such as 5G networks not only because they provide faster speeds but also due to advantages such as lower costs associated with better use of resources as well as improved scalability compared to existing 4G networks.
Ultimately, it is up to all stakeholders involved in telecommunications regulation and rulemaking – including governments and telecom providers – to ensure adequate digital infrastructure deployment across Europe over the next decade if it hopes to meet its ambitious goals set forth by ETNO’s latest report findings. Only then can we truly see an increase in both access and coverage for 5G technology and FTTH networks across Europe by 2022 as projected.