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European Commission


Brussels, 4 July 2014

5G networks will be a leap, not a step, forward

Vice-President of the European Commission @NeelieKroesEU says it’s important to understand 5G mobile will be more than just the next step beyond today’s 4G networks. “It will also offer totally new possibilities to connect people, and also things – being cars, houses, energy infrastructures. All of them at once, wherever you and they are."

Watch the video to find out more.

According to the roadmap of the 5G Public-Private Partnership, 5G standards will allow:

Commission research projects

EU-funded research projects work on various technical requirements ensuring citizens and business will be able to benefit from 5G (see what 5G can do for you).

Addressing capacity crunch: the skyrocketing use of mobile and wireless devices is expected to lead to a capacity crunch within the next decade. Deployment of very dense networks is a possible response researched globally. European research is developing a toolbox that facilitates coordinated spectrum sharing between ultra-dense networks, with the potential to increase capacity by a factor greater than 10.

Finding new way for using spectrum: today's wireless devices use a different frequency to transmit and to receive, so that the device does not interfere with itself. Research has shown that sufficient isolation between the receive part and the transmit part of the device can be implemented, such that a device can operate both transmission and reception on the same frequency. This would just increase spectrum capacity by 2!

€16 million of EU funding is invested in the METIS project, coordinated by Swedish Ericsson, to prepare the architecture of the future 5G networks. METIS will help with pre-standardisation and regulation processes. Other EU-funded projects on 5G include CROWD, led by Italian company Intecs, that focuses on very dense wireless access networks, and 5GNOW, led by German research organisation Fraunhofer Society, that works on waveforms. iJOIN, TROPIC, Mobile Cloud Networking and MOTO are also part of the research effort.


The European Conference on Networks and Communications @EuCNC in Italy has provided a high-tech start to Italy’s EU Presidency, discussing how to develop the standards necessary to make 5G a reality.


The European telecom industry – representing more than 1.7 million direct and indirect jobs in Europe – has been historically in the forefront of mobile technology.

Almost two years ago €50 million were invested in research projects (press release) to work on the architecture and functionality needs for 5G. A key step was taken last December when the Commission launched a Public-Private Partnership on 5G (press release - factsheet). EU investment amounts to €700 million under the new research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 #H2020 while private contribution is expected to reach at least €3.5 billion by 2020.

In February 2014, European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes called for global consensus on 5G by 2015. She set a deadline of 2015 for telecom industries to define a timetable on how to develop 5G at the global level. Such a consensus could accelerate standardisation and spectrum planning (speech).

Two weeks ago, the European Commission and Korea agreed to work towards a global definition of 5G and to cooperate in 5G research. They also agreed on the need for harmonised radio spectrum to ensure global interoperability and on the preparation of global standards for 5G (press release). Towards 5G - @NetTechEU

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