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How Is The EU Shaping Europe's 5G Future?

18 December 2020, 17:22 CET

As one of the most prominent political-economic unions in the world, there’s no doubt that the European Union is at the forefront of innovation.

The rollout of the next generation in networking, 5G, has presented the perfect opportunity for the EU to get involved and shape Europe's digital future. Here's how they're striving to achieve this.

First, it is important to indicate the benefits that 5G can bring. Overall, compared to its predecessor, network speeds can be up to 100x faster, as well as carrying lower latencies, in a bid to offer both a smoother and faster connection. A more reliable connection doesn't just spell good news for consumers texting or streaming, but also for businesses, especially those based solely online.

Those born out of the last major event in the digital revolution, the rise of the Internet, are going to experience the full force of 5G's positive effects. Entertainment, including streaming and gaming, will certainly improve due to the absence of lagging. For instance, look at this site which compares casinos for the best bonuses. The benefits 5G can bring to this already immensely popular industry, with its faster connections, means that the overall experience of playing such games will only get smoother.

Other recipients of the benefits of 5G in entertainment include the music industry, with some developers looking into possibly streaming 3D live concerts. Sport is another area looking to harness 5G to provide and distribute exclusive additional content to fans.

European Union flags - Image by Gordon Johnson on Pixabay

When it comes to EU policy, they have been rather specific on the roadmap towards full 5G integration across the member states. The first stage of these endeavours was the establishing of the 5G PPP or Pubic Private Partnership on 5G back in 2013. This marked the watershed moment when the European Commission got involved with the next generation of networking.

As a result of the Horizon 2020 programme, the EC has also earmarked a fund worth €700m to support continued research and development. Industries based in the EU have promised to match this fivefold which is set to bring total investment into the billions. As part of a wider project, these advancements have been accompanied by international plans signed with the likes of China and Brazil to ensure a global consensus.

Furthermore, 2016's 5G Action Plan for Europe was born with the desire to make the EU 5G ready within a few years across all member states via the Digital Single Market. In essence, the rise of the Internet had already provided them with a framework for further integration, both online and offline. Their Action Plan has proposed ideas such as to "promote pan-European multi-stakeholder trials as catalysts to turn technological innovation into full business solutions" with the aim of widening the scope that 5G can operate within, extending it beyond just the sphere of technology.

In addition, the plan also argued in favour of promoting early deployment of 5G across major urban areas and transport paths to trial the new connection before rolling it out further. The UK has already experienced the 5G rollout thanks to networks such as EE heavily advertising their network being rolled over the course of 2019 for instance. Other providers have also been pushing to normalise this innovation.

Internet technology - Image by mohamed Hassan on Pixabay

The European Union has, as time has passed, pushed Europe to the forefront when it comes to 5G-related innovation. With the combination of directives such as their Action Plan for Europe as well as the likes of Horizon 2020, Europe has been laying the groundwork for the digital revolution. Of course, further steps relating to individual member states' infrastructure and uptake need to be taken. But there's no doubt that the EU has played a major role in shaping Europe's much anticipated digital future.

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