The European Union shows commitment towards faster mobile networks at MWC 2016 as it announces an action plan for "essential" 5G infrastructure within the continent before companies start offering related products and services by 2020.
The action plan builds on previous EU investments in 5G research-- to be worth €700 million by 2020-- and earlier proposals for the coordination of 700MHz band use. The 700MHz offers higher-speed and higher-quality broadband while covering wider areas, thus allowing the EU to catch up with mobile broadband leaders such as S. Korea and the US.
Further work on the spectrum coordination should take place during the Q3 2016 EU telecom rules review.
Another 5G-related announcement from the EU at MWC 2015 involves the signing of a cooperation agreement with Brazil. The agreement is similar to previous cooperation initiatives formed with S. Korea, Japan and China, and involves the identification of "most promising" frequencies meeting the spectrum the requirements of 5G, the promotion of 5G deployments and joint research projects.
"After landmark agreements with China, Japan and S. Korea, today's cooperation initiative with Brazil is a new key step towards 5G," digital economy and society commissioner Günther H. Oettinger says. "With today's agreement we have notably committed to cooperating on the take-up of 5G in so-called vertical industries such as transport or energy. International agreements are complementary to our efforts to deploy the technology in the EU and the work we are starting today to prepare a 5G action plan for the EU".
The EU is also working on similar agreements with the US and India.