EU forecasts release year for 5G

european union flag in the wind

Earlier this week the European Commission published a so-called ‘5G manifesto’ – signed by the likes of BT (and EE), Vodafone and Telefonica (O2) – outlining how it hopes for universal access to 5G services by 2020 and to create a “digital single market.”

Some may say this plan of action is easier said than done considering the work needed to construct towers, get agreement on standards for interoperability and that the service is synchronised across Europe. Regardless, Telecom providers are expected to begin trialling 5G technologies before 2018, following which international standards for what constitutes ‘5G’ will be announced, and are hopeful of EU funding in the billions.

These plans are part of a wider plan from the EU to form what it calls a “digital single market” in which there are fewer barriers between sharing digital products and services between countries. 

It is hoped the introduction of 5G technology could be instrumental for future connected devices in public safety, smart grids and health, as well as connected cars. Crucially 5G has the potential (if the infrastructure is resilient enough) to be cheaper than fibre-optic cables for transmitting data at applications like electricity substations.

What isn’t clear is how ‘Brexit’ will affect the rollout of 5G in Britain and the country’s place in the “digital single market.”  Read our feature on how Britain leaving the EU could affect the AV industry