Not long after 4G came online in the UK and Europe, 5G could soon be with us, but a European Commissioner warned that governments and companies in the region needed to get their act together soon in order to make this a reality.
Speaking at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, European Commission (EC) vice president responsible for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes said that the advent of 5G technologies in Europe would encourage growth in technology companies.
But she warned that the industry needed to set out a date of 2015 for plans for 5G. She added that a timetable would be needed and kept to.
“So today I launch a challenge to you, Europe’s 5G leaders, and to all the other regions of the world, from America to Asia,” said Kroes. “Let’s find a global consensus on the scope of 5G, its main technological constituents, and the timetable for putting it in place. Let’s work this out together. And let’s work it out soon: by the end of 2015. So all our citizens can get the 5G boost as early as possible.”
Kroes added that the next generation mobile technology would be an essential part of the internet of things and a more connected society. Around 700 million euros have been put on the table to jumpstart innovation, she said and the industry has contributed €3 billion. “That’s a win-win for all of us.,” she said.
She said that the increase speed and capacity in 5G should not be incremental, but exponential.
“It will enable whole new fields of application and new solutions for society. From medical monitoring to smart cities to augmented reality. And integrating fixed and mobile. Meaning connectivity anytime, anywhere, through any available network,” she added.
But 4G was still necessary and Kroas argued, fundamental to 5G.
“Let me assure all those who are still waiting for existing technology to reach them: 5G does not mean that we can do without 4G. Indeed, 5G will only be deployed on a large scale many years into the future; it needs 4G and 3G networks to get there. In fact it will also probably still need 2G networks: and Wi-Fi too,” she said.