Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri warned that the implementation of next-generation 5G networks in Europe will be delayed due to spectrum issues and regulation.
"I think 5G will be delayed in Europe," Suri told CNBC's Karen Tso on Monday.
Suri suggested Europe's execution of the new technology would lag behind peers like the U.S. and China, which are making major strides in the development of 5G.
Nokia's boss said the main reason European telecommunications players would fall behind was a lack of spectrum — the radio waves required for high-speed wireless networks — across the continent, as well as regulatory hurdles.
"Spectrum is available in some countries, not all," he said, adding that the market was "overregulated" and that "consolidation is not permitted."
European firms have been bidding for their share of high-speed airwaves for 5G, with Italy's government hauling a record $7.6 billion in a spectrum auction in October.
Suri's comments came as Nokia and fellow European telecom firm Telenor announced a deal to trial 5G capabilities in Denmark. A number of other companies have been conducting their own pilots, including Orange, BT and Deutsche Telekom.