Mobile data traffic in Europe to triple in less than five years

Mobile data traffic in Europe to triple in less than five years
Come 2028, the European mobile data traffic will triple from what it was in 2022, a new prediction says.

Reuters is reporting on this and states that the adoption of 5G and migration into 4G plays a key role in what is quickly becoming a pressure on network investments, as stated by the telecom industry group GSMA.

The GSMA brings together more than 1,000 mobile phone operators and businesses and says 5G subscribers were interested in adding high-bandwidth services and content to their mobile contracts. This is all due to demand for high-quality gaming, extended reality, and video content is rapidly growing with more and more people urging to get on the 5G train.

In 2022, Western Europeans used approximately 20 GB of mobile data per month, while Eastern Europeans averaged around 14 GB. According to the GSMA's annual mobile economy report, by 2028, individuals between Austria and Portugal are expected to consume around 56 GB of mobile data monthly, whereas Eastern Europeans' usage is projected to increase to 37 GB per month.

Because of this growing demand, telecom operators have no other choice but to keep investing in mobile networks. They are already expected to spend more than €198 billion ($216 billion) by 2030 to upgrade their networks.

A number of European telecom groups (including the major ones, like Orange, Telefónica and Telecom Italia), have pushed for a long time for Big Tech (Google’s Alphabet, Meta, Netflix, Microsoft, Amazon, and more) to step up and help pay for the rollout of 5G and broadband. The argument behind this request is that their platforms and services make up a huge part of internet traffic.

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However, telecoms will likely have to wait until 2025 for the next European Commission to decide whether to propose rules to this end, Reuters reported in October citing people familiar with the matter.

"We're encouraged to see European policymakers now facing up to that reality and examining the potential for meaningful policy change on areas such as consolidation, spectrum harmonization and the creation of fairer investment models for infrastructure," Daniel Pataki, head of Europe for the GSMA, said in a statement.

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