European Telecom Executives are pleading for regulators' intervention for Open RAN.

Telecom Tech Outlook | Monday, January 24, 2022

Although the European telecom executives usually avoid regulators intervening in other matters, but in the case of open RAN they are pleading for government intervention.

Fremont, CA: The European telecom executives usually state that they do not want any intervention after being questioned about what they expect from regulators. Official meddling has blocked mergers, decimated roaming, and prevented operators from charging Netflix usage fees. However, the situation is quite different when it comes to open RAN, here the government action is welcomed rather than fought. After asking for government assistance at the start of the year, Europe's big five - worth 200 billion dollars on local stock exchanges are back with their pleadings.

This Oliver Twist routine by firms that made 21.2 billion dollars in net profit last year is a unedifying challenge. Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, and Vodafone argue that Europe lacks open RAN talent and will quickly fall behind Asia and the United States if it does not develop its own ecosystem of vendors. They also added that taxpayers' money could aid specialists and support testbeds. According to the latest research, telcos also plan to benefit directly and one suggestion is for policymakers to provide financing and tax incentives to operators, vendors, and start-ups.

A research director at Analysys Mason wrote that the European Union is risking the future viability of a European ecosystem that is able to compete with other regions globally, since it is falling short in offering the necessary support for open RAN. Considering open RAN as a strategic answer to several issues, parts of the telco firms are fixated on the issue. Since the current mobile networks make it complex to mix products from various vendors at a particular given site, hence everything tends to be incorporated by one big vendor. This market is dominated by Huawei, Nokia, and Ericsson, following years of consolidation.