Insights European Commission publishes white paper showing how 5G will transform EU media and entertainment sectors.

5G networks and services will be available from 2020 and, the Commission says, “will be the backbone of our future economy and society”.  At the Mobile World Congress last week, the Commission and the 5G Public-Private Partnership (5GPPP) outlined how the manufacturing, health, energy, automotive, media and entertainment sectors could use 5G to digitise their business models and what performance targets 5G should deliver.

The 5G PPP, launched by the Commission in 2013, brought together experts from the telecoms and IT fields and from companies and organisations most likely to rely on 5G, including the European Broadcasting Union.  Their know-how has been fed into a white paper, which identifies potential uses of 5G for each sector and pinpoints specific technical cross-sector requirements.

The white paper sets out a series of scenarios in various sectors, including the media and entertainment sector, that are considered most realistic today for deployment in 2020.  These scenarios will form the basis of a consolidated set of 5G requirements that will dictate the standardisation process of 5G.

In terms of the media and entertainment sector, the white paper says that 5G will be used for Ultra High Fidelity media, on-site live event experience, immersive and integrated media, cooperative media production and collaborative gaming.  For instance, games based on virtual reality could be played across continents or football games watched in 3D with immersive lenses from a living room giving an experience of being in the actual stadium.

The white paper illustrates the benefits of building a common 5G network to address the specific requirements of each sector.  While a dedicated network for each sector would not be economically attractive, 5G can pool their different needs together and make it affordable, it states.  The Commission says that it will transform networks into service platforms where industries will be able to find dedicated advanced services for their own specific needs, supplied by a variety of providers.

The white paper also covers the requirements common to all sectors: inactivity (the end-to-end delay in communicating data over the network must be below 5 milliseconds), reliability (the network must be operational for at the least 99.999% of the time), density (able to connect up to 100 devices per square metre), tight constraints on territory and/or population coverage, and a mobile broadband peak terminal data rate of up to 1 Gb per second.  These are, the white paper states, the most important performance targets 5G needs to achieve.  The white paper also outlines spectrum requirements.

The Commission says that it will refer to this white paper when it takes part in international negotiations on spectrum and standards for 5G.  The aim is to involve all sectors in these discussions “so that Europe is among the first continents to deploy “true” 5G connectivity”.

Commissioner Oettinger said: “We are trying not only to develop a communication network to connect people, but rather one that will deliver the Internet of Things, connecting anything that can be connected and delivering innovation on top of connectivity.  Making 5G a reality in Europe by 2020 will be essential for the success of key sectors like automotive, health and digital manufacturing.  This is a chance to reinforce the competitiveness of European industry”.  To read the Commission’s press release in full and for a link to the white paper, click here.