After 18 months of discussion the European Commission and Europe’s tech industry have finalised and presented their vision for 5G.
Perhaps most excitingly Europe sees 5G as not just an evolution of mobile broadband networks, but as a technology which will allow for completely new network and service capabilities.
There are any number of possible use cases, but an example it gives is of being able to keep users constantly connected, even in the most challenging of conditions, such as very dense or sparsely populated areas and train or car journeys, which would see users pass through a variety of environments.
The European Commission notes that this is a realistic goal, which should be made possible by the larger capacities likely to be offered by 5G and that such high capacity would also enormously benefit the internet of things, which is already starting to take off but could really hit the mainstream with the power of 5G, as it would enable a massive number of sensors to be connected at all times and at high speeds.
The EU also believes 5G infrastructure should be flexible, which is something we’ve heard many times before. It should be able to adapt to a broad range of requirements and be scalable and sustainable, which could potentially mean there won’t be a 6G, just a gradually evolving and improving 5G.
The European Commission also has thoughts on what spectrum should be used. As there will be a huge amount required it suggests that carrier frequencies above 6GHz should be considered and indeed tests of those frequencies are already happening. It also notes that many European operators expect 5G to be commercially available between 2020 and 2025.
This is just the EU’s vision and ultimately a global standard will need to be defined, which may or may not have these characteristics, but the EU is optimistic that key elements of its vision will form part of global standards, especially as they largely line up with the expectations for 5G set out by other organisations.