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European telecom operators have proposed to attract IT giants to pay for the development of 5G networks

European mobile operators have called on tech giants such as Meta*, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple to contribute a “fair share” in financing the development of 5G networks and wired broadband access on the continent.

The appeal was signed by more than 160 European mobile and fixed-line operators, including Orange, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone, who warned that if tech giants refuse to finance infrastructure, providers may have to raise Internet prices for consumers. The operator believes that the “network fee” should be paid by content providers that generate from 5% of traffic. Now more than 50% are Microsoft, Amazon, Meta*, Google, Apple and Netflix.

According to the GSMA organization representing the mobile industry, by 2030 it will be necessary to spend € 174 billion on European networks so that the region does not lag behind global indicators, and in 2021 the total investment of European telecommunications companies amounted to € 56.3 billion. Tech giants do not agree with the position of providers: they consider it unfair to charge consumers and content providers for the same infrastructure – this can damage the principles of the network neutrality and the structure of an open Internet.

A spokesman for the British telecommunications regulator Ofcom said that so far the department does not see the need to take such measures. But Vodafone, one of the largest European operators, said that updating the infrastructure is already required in an “urgent” manner – a similar opinion is shared by British Telecom.

GSMA, however, noticed that the 4G and 5G networks, which required billions of dollars of investment, are already overloaded, and the speeds of the latter are even declining due to the exponential growth of subscribers using them for high-definition video streaming and gaming. Operators are required to have a stable connection even with sudden bursts of network traffic, for example, when watching sports on phones en masse. This means building networks with increased bandwidth, but it is not always possible to predict specific values.

It is included in the list of public associations and religious organizations in respect of which the court made a final decision on the liquidation or prohibition of activities on the grounds provided for by Federal Law No. 25-FZ of 07.2002.114 “On Countering Extremist Activity”.


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