Andrus Ansip is anxiously awaiting more momentum when it comes to digital projects of the future. He just may get it as Heads of State and Government signalled their support at the EU Summit he said to the German Press Agency. Finally, there is a bit of constructive pressure.
These so-called projects of the future include a 5G mobile communication system and will go a way to fight against economic protectionism in online trade.
Don’t Stop The Shop
A study has shown that every third consumer has been hindered in some way when trying to shop or use services when out of their home country. Sometimes, Internet sites are closed to those using them from out of the country as well as credit cards not being valid when one tries to use them cross-border.
According to t3n.de, Ansip, the vice commission president responsible for the issue, was critical saying, “This is not a digital domestic market”. European standards in this area could be improved upon, creating better selection and better prices, letting those involved profit. Small and medium-sized companies would receive larger sales markets.
Let’s Not Repeat The Mistakes Of The Past
Looking back on the technological advancement that was 4G (LTE), Ansip warns that we shouldn’t make the same mistakes as were made in the past. Many countries who updated their mobile Internet power to 4G were paying closer attention to maximum profits than to maximum coverage. This lead to Europe being, on average, behind South Korea, Japan or the USA regarding mobile Internet coverage.
Santa Has 4G Access
Countries that have shown it can be different are Finland and Sweden: “In Lapland, for example, there isn’t more than one inhabitant every square kilometre, but when they go to collect mushrooms or berries, they have 4G and access to the Internet”, clarified Ansip. He went on to say that, when he drives from Brussels to Straßburg, there are dozens of kilometres with absolutely no mobile Internet reception.
“We need some sort of bare minimum in this area”, said Ansip. At the same time, the investment conditions must be improved. Implementing 5G is estimated to cost around €500 billion and this super-fast form of Internet should be up and running in all large cities in Europe and across every main traffic artery by 2025 at the latest.
How quickly a unified approach can be found to implement the project was discussed at a ministerial meeting in Luxembourg last Tuesday. At any rate, it was decided during the conclusions of the EU Summit that work on building a digital domestic market needs to be accelerated.