Oettinger: 5G will spearhead change in European telecoms market

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EU’s digital economy commissioner delivers “Road to 5G” speech at Mobile World Congress and presents EU plans for 5G

5G technology will give Europe the opportunity to reinvent the telecommunications landscape, EU digital economy commissioner Gunther Oettinger said in his “Road to 5G” address at Mobile World Congress.

In a speech presented at Barcelona today (March 3), Oettinger set out the EU’s vision for the development and rollout of 5G technology and emphasised that the new connection standard could spearhead a digital transformation in Europe.

“The future network infrastructure, 5G, will become THE infrastructure,” Oettinger said. “Everybody and everything will use 5G. Anywhere, at any time, and on the move, always best connected with almost zero delay and a perceived limitless capacity. Today, we can celebrate that Europe is back in front to continue the journey towards this bright 5G future.

“With 5G, telecom operators should be able to provide specialised network services to a series of new industry partners: from the automotive, to rail, health or energy sectors. To guarantee that connected cars will be able to react in less than 1 millisecond and avoid collisions. Or that tele-medicine will save lives and not be stuck in traffic.”

He also stressed that spectrum was central to the development of the European economy but that there could be no successful 5G deployment in Europe without enhanced coordination of spectrum assignments between Member States.

“We must build together a European approach in the international spectrum debates with other global actors,” he said during the keynote. “Spectrum – as the essential resource for the wireless connectivity of which 5G will be the main driver – stands at the centre of the digital transformation and is crucial for the completion of the Digital Single Market.”

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