EU Digital Commissioner, Guenther Oettinger, said at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona that the EU Commission would work together with digital industry to prepare a coordinated plan to develop 5G mobile networks for Europe, which is expected to massively speed up Internet connections to cope with ever-growing number of Internet users. Brussels estimated that with the new technology, a high-definition movie could be downloaded in six seconds compared to six minutes with 4G.
The action plan, which should be adopted by the end of this year, aims to involve various stakeholders from a number of industries, such as media, energy, automotive and energy. The International Telecommunication Union, an UN agency working on interconnection among global carriers, said that its Member States had already finalized a harmonization plan for 5G, which should roll out in 2020.
The business sector has long been calling on the EU to improve the quality of its mobile communications saying that slow networks impede on job creation and economic growth especially now when the old continent needs to speed up its recovery. Commissioner Oettinger commented that we need to “learn from our failure. We cannot afford being left behind in what [is] the most important transformation of societies since the industrial revolution”. The 5G networks could open many opportunities and services by delivering data faster, which could give a rise to services such as driverless cars, remote surgery or virtual reality.
5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology in which more gadgets and appliances will be able to easily get online via wireless network and respond faster. In addition to simply providing faster connection, 5G will also need to meet needs of new user cases, such as “Internet of things” (network equipment in buildings or vehicles for web access).