LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 EUROPE: Europe has the opportunity to regain its digital leadership, although the different national regulatory and legal environments across the continent present challenges for participants, Mats Granryd, director general of GSMA, stated this morning.
“We have a unique opportunity to regain the industry leadership. With 5G and IoT around the corner that can work as true enablers and game changers for society,” he said.
“However, a key challenge for Europe’s mobile industry remains the ability to scale across a continent with different regulatory and legal environments,” Granryd noted.
The GSMA chief called for policy and regulatory reforms to encourage investment in future-proof infrastructure and address current fragmented approaches in areas such as spectrum; enable operators to manage networks to optimise performance and user experience; promote collaboration across industries to accelerate IoT and the delivery of innovative new mobile services; to expand the digital economy by enhancing digital literacy, skills and entrepreneurship; and consider the changed reality of the converged digital marketplace and increase in consumer choice.
“The review of the telecom framework provides a unique opportunity to reshape the regulatory landscape to better support the era of digital players, services and business models, underpinned by advanced mobile broadband connectivity”, he said.
In a keynote presentation, it was noted that an early pioneer in mobile, Europe is now the most highly penetrated mobile market globally, with nearly 460 million subscribers – about 85 per cent of the region’s population. 4G networks covered 86 per cent of the European population by the end of 2015, which is forecast to reach 93 per cent by the end of 2020.
There is also “huge excitement around the promise of 5G to create a hyper-connected society”, with the need for industry and policy makers to work together to realise the potential for citizens, business and the economy, Granryd said.
And IoT will also “play a significant role in Europe’s digital future”, with a 2015 study by the EC estimating a market value in excess of “a staggering €1 trillion” in 2020.