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Switzerland is Europe’s leader in 5G adoption

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Europe is lagging behind in planning for 5G. In 2016, the European Commission instructed each member state to auction all 5G frequency bands by 2021. A vast majority did not meet the deadline.

Ookla, Network analyst and developer of speedtest.net, examined the status of 5G in thirty European member states. Almost every member state is lagging behind the 5G Action Plan, a schedule of the European Commission. The plan makes it possible to cover the entire European Union by 2030 with 5G. The condition is that member states comply with the planning. Only five of the thirty member states examined are on track.

High -, low-and mid-frequency bands should have been auctioned a year ago. Only Germany, Greece, Finland, Croatia and Slovenia have met the deadline. The rest are missing one or two more tires. Some member states, including Belgium, have not auctioned any tires.

Providers can only roll out their networks once the frequency bands have been distributed. The auction of Belgium, one of the five countries with the greatest backlog, will take place in June. Until then, Belgian providers are investing in temporary measures to provide 5G. Not every investment contributes to the permanent network, delaying the eventual rollout.

Despite the slowdown, Europe is performing well on the world stage. Swiss providers cover almost 35 percent of the national population with temporary frequency bands. Switzerland scores higher than Japan, China and Saudi Arabia.

The 5G networks of Saudi Arabia and South Korea are by far the fastest (500 Mbps download). Bulgaria is the European leader with a speed of 400 Mbps. Most other member states, including Switzerland, have to do with less than 200 Mbps.

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