European telecom operators may have to wait for the next European Parliament election in mid-2024 to push Big Tech to finance the spread of 5G, a source told Reuters on Tuesday.

Orange, Telecom Italia and Telefonica proposed that Google, Amazon, Netflix and Meta shoulder a portion of 5G rollout costs due to their high internet traffic, in what is termed ‘fair-share funding’.

EU telecoms regulator BEREC advised the European Commission in May against proposing legislation to force Big Tech to pay for the rollout of 5G.

Most EU countries have set clear 5G coverage targets in line with the European Commission’s goal of having 5G in all populated areas of its member states by 2030.

On Tuesday, Huawei challenged the Spanish government for what it considered to be a ‘veto’ of its 5G network and equipment.

Spain previously allocated over $527m to develop 5G networks in rural areas but plans to exclude companies which it considers high risk.

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By GlobalData

The ruling could have major implications for Vodafone and Orange, which operate with equipment from Huawei.

Data from research firm GlobalData found that by the end of 2023, mobile 5G subscriptions in Europe will reach 216.4 million, or 15% of total mobile subscriptions.

By 2028, 5G subscriptions in Europe will account for 53% of total subscriptions.

GlobalData’s 5G Market Demand and Service Revenue Forecast found that by 2028, NA will achieve the highest adoption rate in terms of mobile 5G penetration of the population at 148.9% followed by Europe with 104.3%.