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European wireless falling behind, warns Kroes

European digital commissioner Neelie Kroes has warned that Europe needs to work together to stop its wireless industry from falling behind the rest of the world. 

In a speech made at the Mobile World Congress yesterday, Kroes called for a “more coherent, more integrated, more efficient” European telecoms market in order to foster mobile broadband growth and roll out new technology like 5G.

“Europe used to lead the world in wireless: we invented the GSM standard, we once dominated devices. Yet now we are falling behind. Overtaken to the east and the west. We urgently need to catch up. To reclaim a strong wireless industry, to cement a strong economy and to give people the technological tools to access and create opportunity,” said the VP of the European Commission, responsible for digital agenda.

Urging governments to see “the big picture,” Kroes accused some authorities of being “100 times more cautious than they need to be,” accusing them of delaying or preventing new services.

She added that European 5G is an “unmissable opportunity to recapture the global technological lead,” provided countries work together. “We all need to change our mind-set. We can no longer just think instrument by instrument, interest by interest, country by country.”