The politics of this sort of thing is complicated everywhere. Let's just say that in Europe, there's less regulation often and less of a desire to go through a certain process before changes come about.
I agree with this comment, there is definitely a move toward using phone varriers as sort of ISPs and more and more international calls go over Skype, Viber and similar services. A new model is emerging--where it goes no one really knows.
The mobile computing has changed the perspective of cellular service drastically. The number of voice calls has reduced and more teenagers are using SMS or similar service. There are more business people using Skype or other similar services to make International call. Friends of mine have all kind of chat apps - Whatapps, LINE, you name it - to text and sometimes making voice call. Cellular service carriers becomes more less like an ISP. Just early this year, there are new cell phone company launching services which allows subscribers to choose data only, no voice and no sms. I can see the decoupling of voice and text service from the link service already. The decoupling model, no doubt, is a service model than a architectural model. However, I believe the consortium will keep this service model in mind that they will come up an architecture that will provide the flexibility and scalability of the service model.
There is a fundemental difference between the Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) and cellular service. POTS has been around for a long time and 5 9, i.e. 99.999% up time is the expectation. I wasn't quite around when POTS first came out but I am still confident that it wouldn't experience as high Bit Error Rate as celluar service. Wait a minute! Was Bit exist at the time?
Cellular service has came a long way. Packet loss due to BER has been tackled by error correction and different CODEC. I'm sure the quality will continue be improving in the coming time. However, I don't see it can be better than wireline service unless there is a drastic changes in PHY layer.
Europe seems to be ahead in implementing things faster and innovating technologies. May be its less political there. In countries like India 3G is stll in infancy stage. Many leading mobile service providers do not have their own 3G license. And there huge amount of political corruption in giving 2G lcenses.