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European telecoms sector faces 'perfect storm', Telecom Italia CEO says

TIM General Manager Pietro Labriola poses for a portrait in Rome

(Reuters) - Telecom firms in Europe are facing unsustainable market trends linked to shrinking retail prices, booming data consumption and "unprecedented" investment needed to upgrade networks, the head of Telecom Italia (TIM) said on Tuesday.

"We are facing a perfect storm", Pietro Labriola said at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, citing also slowing economic growth and rising interest rates.

The executive called on institutions and regulators for urgent intervention to make Big Tech firms help fund broadband and 5G roll-out and to favour market consolidation.

In response to growing challenges, in Labriola's view, telecom firms need to separate infrastructure operations from services, each focusing on their specific market.

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; editing by Jason Neely)