By Supantha Mukherjee and Isla Binnie
STOCKHOLM/MADRID (Reuters) – 2021 could be a do-or-die year for Europe’s efforts to catch up with China and the United States in rolling out super-fast fifth-generation (5G) telecoms networks.
The mission to introduce the technology, which ultimately promises internet speeds up to 20 times faster than today, could be crucial to how competitively the continent emerges from the economic ruins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mindful of this, the European Union is funnelling a fifth of its 750-billion-euro ($914 billion) recovery fund to improve countries’ digital capabilities.
European mobile operators have long been reluctant to start investing in 5G networks, which could support smart factories and self-driving cars, because of a lack of political clarity about whether they must accede to U.S. demands to exclude leading …
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