Is There Any Hope for Europe?

As APAC and North America forge ahead, Europe seems stuck in yesteryear

June 27, 2013

2 Min Read
Is There Any Hope for Europe?

Is it just me, or does it feel like Europe is wearing a digital blindfold?

The past few days have really highlighted the seemingly growing gulf between Europe's approach to the modern, digital world and those of the two regions it most competes with for investment, North America and Asia/Pacific.

Looking east we have seen the pride SK Telecom has shown in launching its LTE-Advanced service and how NTT Communications Corp. is leading the way on the deployment of software-defined networking (SDN) capabilities in a telco environment. (See NTT Advances Carrier SDN and SK Telecom Debuts LTE-Advanced.)

Glancing west, 4G and LTE-Advanced developments abound, while investments in ground-breaking networking, IP and applications technologies appear legion. (See Intel Aims to Cut NFV Latency, Cisco Drops Hints About Insieme & SDN, AT&T Opens New Innovation Labs, T-Mobile to Debut LTE-A 'Features' in 2013 and Verizon Completes LTE Rollout, Turns to VoLTE as examples from the past few days.)

Meanwhile, in Europe, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have agreed the latest steps toward introducing the Connecting Europe Facility, an infrastructure investment plan that had its broadband component decimated earlier this year. (See Europe's Broadband Nightmare.)

And here in Britland, we have managed to sabotage some of our own fiber network investment plans and, instead, the government plans to hand out vouchers so that companies can use the existing not-so-high-speed broadband services on offer from the very companies that managed to block the new rollouts. (See Euronews: UK Fiber Funding in Disarray.)

Can you spot the regional differences?

That's not to say there isn't anything of worth happening in Europe, but these examples portray the general mentality -- one that doesn't factor in the importance of digital infrastructure in the modern age -- that is weighing Europe down.

Europe needs to get a grip or find itself tagged as a Tier 2 region.

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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