Earlier this year, details from the internal GSMA report were leaked to the media, including the assessment that the costs to Europe of 5G supply chain restrictions would be in the range of EUR 55 billion. Ericsson firmly believes that the conclusions made in the report are not based on an objective analysis and grossly overstate both costs and delays.
When it comes to cost, any realistic estimate needs to recognize that many operators need to modernize their networks to latest technology for cost and performance reasons, regardless of the shift to 5G. When considering this requirement, the real incremental cost of implementing 5G supply chain restrictions is far lower than what is suggested in the GSMA report. Our calculations, based on detailed understanding of the networks, age of equipment, assumed traffic increase etc., show that the costs would only be a small fraction of what the GSMA report concludes.
In terms of potential delays, Ericsson has already proven to be fully capable of meeting the demands of early-adopter 5G countries, including the United States, Korea and many others. Since we can successfully execute in these regions, one can assume that we can also do so in Europe. Furthermore, delays to 5G in Europe are far more likely to be the result of spectrum availability, regulation and investment climate than vendor capacity.
Ericsson today has 70 commercial 5G agreements and contracts with unique operators of which 20 are live networks.