July 24, 2017
A ministerial declaration on making 5G a success for Europe was signed during the informal meeting of the Ministers for Competitiveness and Telecommunications on 18 July in Tallinn, Estonia. The declaration of intent seeks to establish a common baseline on future 5G standards and confirm the willingness of Member States to position Europe as the lead market for 5G.
The Council says that by 2020, it is estimated that there will be 26 billion connected devices and 70% of people will own a smartphone. 5G will form the backbone of the EU Digital Single Market industries of the future, modern public services and innovative applications such as connected cars, smart homes and mobile health services. The declaration indicates the steps that Member States will take to encourage the swift rollout of 5G and related services across Europe. It also emphasises the need to create the right preconditions to leverage the full potential of 5G (e.g. the availability of the radio spectrum and cross-border frequency coordination). The declaration was signed by 28 telecommunications ministers of EU Member States, as well as Norway.
The Council says that 5G is “a critical element for fostering connectivity” and ensuring that consumers and businesses can “benefit across all industry sectors in Europe”, and at the same time is “essential for enhancing Europe’s competitiveness.” Further, the Council says, it will provide “virtually ubiquitous and seamless connectivity” not only to individual users, but also to connected objects. It is therefore expected that the future 5G infrastructure will serve a wide range of applications and sectors including professional uses (e.g. assisted driving, eHealth, energy management and possibly safety applications, etc.). To read the Council’s press release in full, click here.