EU policymakers must act to secure investment in the telecom sector. This will enable the economy to become independent from global powers in Asia and the US.

A report published by the telecoms lobbying group ETNO stated that EU policymakers must take additional initiatives to gather more investments in the telco sector.

The nature of the problem

With its collection of 27 countries, the European Union relies heavily on 5G to come out of the recession that ensued the COVID-19 pandemic. The EU largely depends on its innovation in internet-connected devices to improve its economy.

The European Union has invested 52.2 billion euros in fiber cables networks and swift-speed 5Gs in 2020 thus far. This investment is as higher as it has been in the past four years. However, the European telecoms sector fails to follow suit. According to analysis research carried out by Analysys research, the EU is much behind in the telecom sector compared to their global counterparts.

The EU’s capital expenditure per capita is 96.3 euros, compared to the US per capita expense of 191.9 euros and South Korea’s 115.4 euro per capita investment.

ETNO’s conclusion

ETNO is an organization who members include Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE), Orange (ORAN.PA), Telefonica (TEF.MC) and Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI).

The research conducted by ETNO believes that increasing investment and resilience in the telecom sector is critical. Making improvements in this sector is beneficial from the societal perspective and Europe’s ‘Open Strategic Autonomy’ plans.

Therefore, EU policymakers must create a sustainable model within the sector, including an effective policy action that drastically optimizes the investment climate.

The director-general at ETNO, Lise Fuhr, highlighted the significant regulations and insufficient government support affecting the sector. Fuhr believes that although the investment in the industry has been high, it is still inadequate in meeting the global digital gap. The EU’s telecom division struggles with attaining highly regulated revenues. Therefore, implementing a cogent policy from the EU can bring about the support for a faster network roll-out and more partnerships.

The telecom division in the EU requires immense attention in partnerships within the national market. Additionally, the monetization of data traffic on the networks needs to be implemented to meet the competitors’ standards.