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GSMA Report Reveals European Mobile Industry At A Crossroads

BRUSSELS, Sept. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ahead of today's GSMA Mobile 360- Europe conference in Brussels, the GSMA released a comprehensive assessment of the impact of the mobile industry in Europe. The report 1, "Mobile Economy Europe 2013", developed by GSMA Intelligence, reveals that in 2012, the mobile ecosystem generated approximately 2.1 per cent of GDP for the European Union (EU) – including contributions to public funding of €53 billion – and directly supported 394,000 jobs in the region.

The study also indicates that, despite having the world's highest unique subscriber penetration rate at 79 per cent, Europe is the only region to see revenues decline – from €162 billion in 2010 2 to €151 billion in 2012 - and is now falling behind in the deployment of next-generation mobile technologies and the advanced services they make possible. The report concludes with the opportunities presented in a world where nearly everything and everyone will be connected by mobile and the key role of smart policy and regulation in helping Europe maximise its potential.

" Europe was long viewed as a pioneer in mobile, but, as this report illustrates, is now lagging behind other regions in the deployment of mobile broadband, particularly in 4G/LTE," said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA.  "Despite this, the mobile industry can play a key role in the European recovery, but this will require policy that encourages investment in mobile broadband connectivity, enables innovation and helps build consumer confidence in mobile services. This should be at the heart of the Commission's planned proposals on a single telecoms market."  

Europe Trails in Adoption of Next-Generation Mobile TechnologiesThe report issued today finds that Europe has fallen behind many other parts of the world in the deployment of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. At the end of 2012, LTE accounted for just 0.3 per cent of total devices in Europe, compared to 11 per cent in the U.S. and 28 per cent in South Korea. This reinforces research issued by the GSMA and Navigant Economics earlier this year 3, which showed that growth in investment in the U.S. is translating into faster data connections, with U.S. speeds now 75 per cent faster than the EU average, with the gap expected to grow.

Creating a Connected Europe – Helping Deliver the EU's 2020 Growth Strategy Despite the current challenges, "Connected Living" presents an important opportunity to expand the reach of mobile into key vertical industry sectors. The number of connected wireless devices in Europe is expected to grow to nearly six billion by 2020 4, around a quarter of the global total. The total addressable market for Connected Living in Europe could be as large as €234 billion 5 by 2020, offering a potential uplift of more than six per cent to the EU's GDP. The adoption of mobile technology in industry sectors such as automotive, commerce, education, health, government and utilities, among others will create opportunities for new business models and revenue streams, supporting growth, jobs, innovation and sustainability. 

The report also outlines a number of key areas where appropriate EU policy and regulation can help regain lost technology leadership by encouraging investment, reducing barriers to consolidation, enabling innovation and building consumer confidence.

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