Europe needs to unite for 5G or be left behind

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EU Commissioner Gunther Oettinger warns region is lagging behind with its 4G rollout and must come together for a single ‘connected continent’ approach

Europe is in danger of being left behind when it comes to 5G services.

This was the claim from EU Commissioner Gunther Oettinger who warned the region was “lagging behind” other parts of the world with its roll out of 4G, and must “unite”  for a single
“connected continent” approach for 5G.

Delays in the roll out of 5G, which he insists should not be a “race” amongst operators – will see Europe fall behind in offering new technologies, such as connected cars, which require latency of under 1ms (stopping time of 2.8cm) compared with 50 metres on 4G (1.4 metres) and 100ms on 3G. Download time for an 8GB  HD movie will also be just six  seconds, compared with seven and 70 minutes on 4G and 3G.

“5G is about tomorrow, yet we need to solve a number of obstacles already today,” said Oettinger.

“Being a 5G lead adopter requires you to be a 4G leader. But Europe is still lagging behind on 4G deployments. Europe must do more. There can be no successful 5G deployment in Europe without enhanced coordination of spectrum assignments between Member States.”

The first commercial role out of 5G is expected in 2020 – however, the CEO of KT Telecom, Chang-Gyu has confirmed the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea, where LTE coverage is 100 per cent, will be an all 5G event.

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