European telecom markets underperform than U.S: GSMA

Telecom Lead Asia: European telecom markets are underperforming than other advanced economies, including the U.S., according to GSMA.

Anne Bouverot, director general, GSMA, said: “While there are many factors that have contributed to Europe’s current position, it is clear that enlightened policy reforms could bring improvement, creating substantial benefits for EU consumers and driving economic growth.”

GSMA’s report called Mobile Wireless Performance in the EU and U.S. says U.S. consumers spend more each month than their EU counterparts and use mobile services much more intensely, consuming five times more voice minutes and nearly twice as much data.

By the end of 2013, nearly 20 percent of U.S. connections will be on LTE networks, compared to fewer than 2 percent in the EU.

Average mobile data connection speeds in the U.S. are now 75 percent faster than those in Europe and by 2017 will be more than twice as fast.

Capital expenditure (Capex) in the U.S. is growing by 70 percent since 2007 while declining in the EU and the gap continues to widen.

GSMA suggests that fundamental regulatory reforms are needed to restore growth in the European mobile industry. Focus on facilitating investment and innovation, rather than on the direct management of prices, is needed. The GSMA offers the following recommendations to create a new, progressive regulatory environment that matches the current economic reality.

It is critical that the European Commission ensures the allocation of the 700MHz band for future mobile broadband services and, importantly, that it is released in line with internationally harmonized band plans.

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