5G rollout to cost Europe $355bn

5G rollout to cost Europe $355bn

Lise Fuhr, Director General at ETNO 16.9.jpg

New figures find that the cost of 5G infrastructure will cost Europe €300 billion ($355 billion) by 2025.

This €300 billion ($355 billion) price tag is broken down into two spends. With €150 billion needed to achieve a full-5G environment in Europe, and an additional €150 billion need to complete the upgrade of fixed infrastructure to reach gigabit speeds.

According to the report, Connectivity and Beyond: How Telcos Can Accelerate a Digital Future for All, by consultancy firm BCG, commissioned by ETNO, Europe can create 2.4 million new jobs within the next four years through digital transformation with 5G at the heart of it all.

“This Report shows that Europe’s gigabit opportunity is extremely relevant to today’s top challenges, including recovery and the green transition,” said Lise Fuhr (pictured), director general at ETNO.

“We call on European leaders to support the telecoms sector and help us deliver a stronger digital economy for all citizens”.

Specifically, the report found that 5G alone can generate an annual increase of €113 billion ($133 billion) in gross domestic product.

Other key findings from the report show that the adoption of digital solutions can reduce carbon emissions by up to 15%, specifically this amounts to 30% emission cuts though the development of smart cities and 30% emission cuts through digital transformation of the transport industry.

In tandem with these investments, work is also required to the needs on demand side. Figures show that 83% of European small to medium enterprises (SME) still do not use advanced cloud and 60% of 9-year-olds are currently educated in schools that are not digitally equipped. In order to address this a further €26 billion a year would be needed to digitise all European SMEs and roughly €14 billion a year to upgrade the infrastructure of all European schools.

On the legislative side of things, the report highlights several key policy actions that need to be made. in order to meet these digital transformation goals. These include, attracting more investment in the roll-out; allowing for more industry collaboration; stimulating demand and digital transformation across industrial sectors; prioritising leadership in European digital services; and greater investment in digital skills.

“The Covid pandemic has reinforced how reliant we are on our telecoms infrastructure for virtually every aspect of our work, education and social lives,” added Wolfgang Bock, managing director and senior partner at BCG.

“We need to learn and apply that lesson to ensure Europe makes the necessary investments to be able to remain competitive. Today, 83% of EU SMEs do not use advanced cloud services and over 60% nine-years-olds are in schools which are still not digitally equipped. Our report maps a route for Europe to build a more digitally skilled workforce and create millions of jobs”.

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