Commissioner Mariya Gabriel will announce two concrete initiatives to drive 5G progress in Europe at the Mobile World Congress 2018: the European 5G Observatory and the European 5G Pioneer Award.

Commissioner Mariya Gabriel will meet with key stakeholders in the mobile sector during her official visit to the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018. She will take the opportunity to discuss progress in deploying 5G and in developing partnerships with vertical industries to enable the digital transformation in Europe.

Ms Gabriel intends to make clear to the stakeholders that the Commission is determined to ensure the right conditions for the private sector to invest in 5G infrastructure. The Commission proposal for new telecom rules, once adopted, will facilitate investment in connectivity infrastructure, and create a level playing field for digital services to flourish. The 5G Action Plan for Europe is making progress. EU countries have already agreed on a 5G roadmap to coordinate the availability to new 5G frequencies.

A number of showcases at MWC are linked to the industry's trial strategy setting out the opportunities for creating 5G partnerships leading the way to commercial deployment. The strategy ranges from private trials, to planned showcases in the context of the UEFA Euro 2020, up to opportunities with vertical industries. In this context, the Commission will launch this year large 5G pre-commercial trial projects in the framework of the 5G PPP with a total amount of €200 million to foster new 5G cross-industry partnerships. Many of them will build on so-called "5G corridors", cross-borders sections of highways which can be used for testing Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility services. 

Ms Gabriel will discuss with the GSMA, the host of MWC, the planned launch of two specific initiatives, the setup of a European 5G Observatory and the organisation of a European 5G Pioneer Award contest.

The European 5G Observatory will provide independent monitoring information regarding the main actual and likely market developments, 5G trials and other actions taken by Member States as well as industry stakeholders regarding 5G market introduction in Europe and in a global context. This will allow assessing the progress of the EU 5G Action Plan and to take actions to fully implement it.

The Commission also plans to launch the European 5G Pioneer Award initiative with GSMA to single out the front runners in Europe adopting 5G, whether they are key partnerships with vertical sectors or innovative 5G cities or regions. The first award is planned to be handed over at next year's edition of the MWC.