• 5G is the key to our common future. Key for our future economic prosperity and for our society. 

• I am very happy to be here with you once more and to witness such a vibrant activity. Today we are closing the first day of this second Global 5G Event. It is a brilliant idea to have this conference here in Rome, the eternal city that established so many landmarks in our history. Rome is where the Treaty that created the European Union was signed in 1957 – we will celebrate the 60th anniversary next year!

• I want to thank the 5G Industrial Association for hosting the conference and for the excellent organisation, and of course also the partner 5G organisations from China, Japan, South Korea and the USA. And I would like to very much welcome our partners from all over the world, and particularly from Brazil and India.

Context

Now, Ladies and Gentlemen,

• We are living in turbulent times. Where what we took for granted is not guaranteed any more.

• We have a responsibility, all of us, from industry to academia to government. To give our citizens some direction, some clarity, some stability.

• The European Commission has just announced its priorities for the next 12 months: a Europe that preserves the citizens’ way of life, empowers and defends them, and prepare for our future competitiveness. Most remarkable is that 5G is part of that picture.

• And I believe that we can shape a common vision of the future with 5G that will comfort our citizens and our economies. To show that smart connectivity is an opportunity, a place where we want to invest into. A common vision where digital technologies and digital communication can make a better life for all.

• Smart connectivity can deliver higher-quality videos or immersive real-time games. But it can do more for our whole economy and society. This is why we need 5G.

• Take the example of connected cars -or platooning, connected trucks: if we want to see self-driving cars take us from Rome to Amsterdam, or from Paris to Warsaw, we will need low latency, ubiquitous coverage and reliability. We need 5G!

• And to make this happen, the automotive industry and the telecom industry must join forces. This is why I have invited representatives of both industries to a dialogue which led them to create a 5G Automotive Association. I asked this alliance to propose very quickly a concrete project, so that we not only talk about connected and automated cars, but we also start delivering them on the ground.

• Take the example of connected health. Healthcare costs are exploding, our population is aging, at least in Europe. We need higher quality treatments. Technology that can help restructuring our healthcare model is around the corner. So that people can stay healthy and safe at home, or treatments can be conducted at a distance. But to allow this, we need a network that offers ultra-reliability and low latency. We need 5G!

• I could go on with other areas where the demand for 5G is being structured, like energy and smart grids, energy efficiency, augmented and virtual reality, connected drones and robots, and so on. We need 5G! And we need it sooner rather than later. So how do we deliver on that common agenda?

 

Making 5G a Reality

• First we need the technology to really fulfil its promises. This requires excellent research and innovation. And in Europe, we have already delivered some important milestones through our Public-Private-Partnership. The first results from the 5GPPP show that European research projects are providing what is needed for our ambitious 5G vision. I encourage you to visit the exhibition area that will give you a flavour of European 5G research.

• But research results must be taken to market. This is why the Commission launched the 5G Action Plan in September this year: to make sure we have all pre-conditions for a commercial launch of 5G in Europe in 2020.

• We have set to that effect ambitious but reachable goals: 1. By the end of 2020, to have at least one major city to be "5G-enabled" in each of our 28 Member States.

2. By 2025 to have all urban areas covered as well as major terrestrial transport paths with uninterrupted 5G coverage.

• My message to you is that we can do it, provided we work together: cities, regions, governments, Europe, industry, equipment providers and operators.

• We can not only dream about 5G, dream about a bright technological future. We can also deliver it!

 

Trials with verticals

• A key element of this active roll-out strategy is to plan 5G trials now.

• I am calling upon industry from those different sectors to work together for key technological experiments to take place as early as in 2017, including the testing of new terminals and applications through the 5G-PPP, demonstrating the added-value 5G offers to our citizens and our enterprises.

• And I also call upon industries to present detailed roadmaps by March next year for the implementation of advanced pre-commercial trials to be promoted at EU level: these trials in key sectors must be launched in 2018 in order to ensure Europe's leadership for 5G.

• If we get these first steps in time, then we will show to our European citizens –and to the world- what concrete benefits you can get from that 5G technology. And that they should not be afraid of the future. Rather they should embrace it and enjoy it.

• I have full trust that industry will provide us an ambitious list of trials and demos. These demos will say more than words and conferences, and they will be good for business because they will convince new customers.

Regulatory framework for 5G

• You may think: OK that is all nice, but what is the Commission doing?  

• Well, the Commission is playing a role of bridge-maker, and we are creating some framework conditions that should be helpful. We just proposed a new regulatory framework, which should enhance 5G:

- New Net neutrality rules that explicitly authorise network slicing

- Regulatory incentives for investment in high speed networks, either through co-investment or wholesale only, and lifting of regulation when it is not no more needed

- More coordination of spectrum

- Rules that facilitate deployment

• We are also tasking our Member States to revise their national broadband plans to make their fit for 5G, and supporting the development of new ecosystems.

 

5G for start-ups

• 5G is more than a technology: it is a new digital mind-set which will come as a revolution when citizens realise what it delivers.

• 5G will provide programmable platforms accessible for third party service developers. This is an opportunity for many industries, but also for start-ups and scale-ups.

• For that reason, the European Commission will facilitate the implementation in Europe of an industry-led venture fund for 5G. We aim for a 500 million euros investment fund.

• So I really look forward to bringing in the investors and the venture capitalists to witness a new generation of services and apps enabled by 5G.  

 

Create the conditions for 5G

• Ladies and gentlemen, if we want to see amazing results of the 5G revolution from 2020, there is still preparatory work to do. This conference includes two very topical panels, on standards and on spectrum. Essential topics:

• We aim at global standardisation: it is not only a technical discussion. It has direct industrial and consumer impact. Our position is for a single unified global standard.

• We are not convinced by a model where a rush to get early specifications outside of the global standardisation organisations is an appropriate model. Let's not play here a fragmentation game that eventually will not benefit anyone;

• Regarding spectrum: the international negotiations are progressing, with a next decision point in 2019. Earlier decisions are being taken by some administrations, and in Europe we are also moving towards identification of 5G pioneer bands. We though have to be careful that fragmentation of regional decisions does not make global harmonisation impossible, and that interoperability is preserved.

• These issues need to be tackled from an international cooperation perspective, and we expect that more can be done to seek global consensus in these domains.

Conclusion:

• 5G is a global adventure and Europe is ready to contribute. We believe that Europe can be the place where you create 5G and make it happen with us.

• We need to call upon researchers, national, local and regional authorities, industry, investors, and of course our international partners to contribute.

• Europe has already done it for 2G, 3G and 4G. We are determined once more to facilitate dialogue and "oil the machinery" between all the interested parties. So that we build 5G and then deploy it.

• As you may have heard, I will shortly take up new functions in the Commission. So I would like to wish you success in this endeavour. I will witness and support it from another angle. But I am proud about where we are, and where we are going.

 

Thank you for your attention.