Brussels, 18 Dec 2002
Erkki Liikanen, EU Commissioner for Enterprise and the Information Society, has said that he believes there will be no boom in the third generation mobile market before 2008.
Speaking to the German magazine Focus, the Commissioner warned Europe's telecoms operators, who have been hit by a downturn in the technology sector, that their investments in third generation (3G) mobile licenses are unlikely to generate large returns in the short-term.
'The New Economy has produced a lot of hot air. That has slowed investment in the telecoms sector,' the Commissioner said. 'We will have to wait at least five more years for a real boom in UMTS [universal mobile telecommunications systems].'
Responding to criticism from some quarters that the Commission should have done more to harmonise the rules on 3G license auctions in Europe, Mr Liikanen said that this had been its intention, but that 'the Member States fought that tooth and nail'.