back to article Europe lagging behind South Korea, Japan, US in 5G rollout

Europe is falling behind global leaders in 5G adoption as rising inflation and war in Ukraine affect infrastructure ambition, according to an industry survey. A study by the GSMA, a lobby group for the mobile industry, predicts that 5G network coverage in Europe is set to rise to 70 percent in 2025, up from 47 percent in 2021 …

  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    More subsidy please

    Accelerating plans for 5G in Europe were "vital for policymakers to create the right conditions for private infrastructure investment, network modernization and digital innovation," the GSMA argued.

    As ever: most people would be happy if the current service lived up to the marketing promises before anything new happens. The shift to 5G will, as happened with LTE before it, not really take place until 5G handsets dominate the market. Towers and cells wil continue to be upgraded as part of routine maintenance as has been the case for the last decade at least.

  2. VoiceOfTruth


    No mention of Huawei being banned in Europe thanks to pressure from the USA? Not a single mention? There is a price to be paid for being America's foot rests.

  3. Ragarath

    5G Ohhh Ahh!

    Let's be honest, do we really NEED 5G?

    4G does most of what everyone needs. 5G will eventually role out and will help, but it is not needed by the majority and won't even cover, as previous generations before it, everyone.

    What this is a report by an interested party(ies), the GSMA.

    P.S. I've written a report that all countries are lagging behind putting £1,000,000 each into my bank account. Please step up your pace as you are all lagging behind at the moment.

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      Re: 5G Ohhh Ahh!

      I thought about writing am sms of complaint but haven't got a 2g signal at the moment ...

      I find it confusing that people paying for a landline will complain about noise on the line yet those paying a lot more for mobile services seem to accept total lack of, or very intermittent, mobile connections as part of the service ...

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: 5G Ohhh Ahh!

      Yes, those of us on the GSMA gravy train very much need new marketing ideas and government subsidies.

      Think of all the shindigs and bonuses we're missing out on as long as things are fine as they are!

    3. Alex Stuart

      Re: 5G Ohhh Ahh!

      > Let's be honest, do we really NEED 5G?

      In the UK, yes, we do.

      At a relative's house with 5G coverage, I get over 400Mb/s on my phone. That's around thirteen times faster than my home "broadband" connection, which is unlikely to improve in the forseeable future given our glacial pace of fibre rollout.

      1. Jan 0 Silver badge

        Re: 5G Ohhh Ahh!

        Other than the bandwidth monitor, what Apps do you have on your 'phone that can use 400 Mb/s? Can anyone sling ads at you at that rate?

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: 5G Ohhh Ahh!

          If the cable connection is bad enough (which their multiplier suggests isn't the case for them) and that speed is consistent, that could be shared between multiple devices on the home network. Many devices using that connection simultaneously could hit that speed limit, and are much more likely to hit the limit of 4G service.

          The main problem I've seen with using mobile networks as home internet is that there is usually some limitation to the data that can be used (sure, they say unlimited, but there's often a throttle threshold somewhere and it's often low enough that someone who streams a lot of video is likely to hit it frequently). If your speed gets cut after you've used a hundred gigabytes, then the excellent 5G performance won't be very helpful anymore.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 5G Ohhh Ahh!

            Here Vodafone is selling a 5G plan with a 10Mb/s cap for 24.99€/month. Sure, it's "unlimited" - you have to work hard to download a lot with that speed... and you wonder why you need 5G to reach a 10Mb/s speed...

            Anyway 5G when available may deliver better speeds for FWA setups and when using the phone tethered or as an host spot - still a lot depends on the cell saturation - for plain mobile use those speeds are not very relevant but for data hoarder to get more in less time.

            1. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: 5G Ohhh Ahh!

              You certainly don't need 5G for a 10 Mb/s connection. 4G could have and did do it. They're probably using 5G because there's more unused capacity in it and a fixed receiver is likely running on mains power so the increased power usage isn't an issue. Of course, with that speed cap, people would probably only buy this if there's poor cable service but good mobile service in a location. That speed is probably acceptable for a single user, but scaling to a larger household probably doesn't go well.

        2. Alex Stuart

          Re: 5G Ohhh Ahh!

          > Other than the bandwidth monitor, what Apps do you have on your 'phone that can use 400 Mb/s? Can anyone sling ads at you at that rate?

          Nothing. My point is not that I need a 5G *phone* connection, but that a 5G mast in my town would enable my home devices to have much more bandwidth, for which I have multiple uses.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: 5G Ohhh Ahh!

        So, by implication, you think it's easier to provide 400 MB/s via 5G for the whole country than it is via fixed lines? If so I have a bridge you might be interested.

        Geography and contention are the service provider's bugbears.

        1. Alex Stuart

          Re: 5G Ohhh Ahh!

          > So, by implication, you think it's easier to provide 400 MB/s via 5G for the whole country than it is via fixed lines? If so I have a bridge you might be interested.

          I didn't imply anything about how easy it would be. Though I'd assume that erecting a radio mast or two is significantly easier, cheaper and faster than digging up hundreds of streets, of course.

          Cable is of course better, but not all of us have that luxury. Nor can we realistically do anything about it other than 'register interest' in Virgin Media while watching the years go by.

          My point was merely that, in such areas, 5G would be quite useful indeed.

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: 5G Ohhh Ahh!

            In which areas in particular? 5G suffers from the usual problems in high density areas and the physics that limit high frequency radio waves in concrete haven't changed. And in the countryside you can have either range or bandwidth: you run a cable into a village, run a mast off it but the guys behind the hill won't see any improvement.

            There have been significant improvements in the last decades but the basic physics on which they rely haven't changed. The rest is policy and the allocation of resources,

    4. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: 5G Ohhh Ahh! Why?

      Even where I am in very rural France, 4g modem is more than sufficient for a family of 3. It's a flat €20 a month... It beats the hell out of the ADSL plans in our area. Now I'm told that FTTP will be available in December?! for about €40 a month, voip and tv/radio package too..

      Do we need to replace everything that doesn't have it? Not yet, but plan for new deployments and replacements due to attrition. Tech now grows whether we like it or not.

  4. Filippo Silver badge

    Before you give me a gigabit/s of mobile bandwidth somewhere, could we please focus on getting a half megabit/s of mobile bandwidth everywhere? There are still places where I can't run a Google search or place a reliable phone call, and I'm not even talking remote places.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5G has a lot of drawbacks for users

    As one of the first to have a 5G-capable device and being on my second 5G device, I have to say there is hardly any reason for consumers to upgrade. 5G still simply draws way too much power. Since there are not many 5G SA networks, you also get strange effects like the mobile data connection not working during calls, Dual-SIM not working properly, and stuff like that.

    I actually have 5G deactivated most of the time and default to LTE.

    1. cageordie

      Re: 5G has a lot of drawbacks for users

      I have to try that. My experience of 5G so far is that the coverage is less and the data rates make no difference.

  6. cageordie

    And why should I care?

    I have a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and right now it says I have 5G. Absolutely zero improvement on 4G in my house. Not that I need it with WiFi6 and gigabit fiber, but still, all that talk and no action. However, outside of this university town, we notice significantly poorer coverage with the S22 that with the 4G S10. The phone is somewhat faster, and the screen is a bit bigger, but I'd have been just as happy with another S10 to replace the one that was bulging apart. I replaced the battery to see if I could and now my daughter has a perfectly good phone and I could have saved a thousand dollars.

  7. clyde666

    plus ca change

    I got a new phone about a year ago, specifically chose it as a 5G model.

    Apart from running speed tests often in the first few days, and trying to check on various towers around here for a while, it's just reverted to being my mobile phone. Nothing less, nothing more.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm still waiting...

    ...for 4G to deliver on its promises...

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