The European Commission has opened a consultation seeking views from industry representatives involved in 5G technologies.

The purpose of the consultation is to identify opportunities for a coordinated introduction of 5G networks in Europe, and to assess elements of a 5G Action Plan for the timely deployment of 5G infrastructure as of 2020. It follows on from a challenge by Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger to sectors including automotive, health, smart factories and logistics, energy, media and entertainment to think together on the measures, timetable and investment incentives needed for a coordinated launch of 5G in Europe.

The consultation is open until 11 July.

The results will help refine the key parameters for the introduction of 5G in Europe and feed directly the 5G Action Plan to be published as part of the European Commission's upcoming review of EU telecoms framework this autumn.

Companies involved in 5G are invited to share their opinions on topics such as:

  • Overall agenda for the introduction of 5G in the EU
  • Aspects linked to service introduction and types of new service
  • 5G enablers : spectrum, standards, investments

From an economic and societal perspective, 5G is a major opportunity to improve the competitiveness of European industry. It has the potential to create new digital ecosystems where networks act as platforms for new, specialised services.

5G will be a game changer for telecom companies, meaning more speed and more bandwidth for mobile. But it will also have a tremendous social and economic impact for a number of key industries like automotive, health, smart factories and logistics, energy, media and entertainment. These vertical industries will be the early adopters of the 5G technology and will build the future market of 5G products and services. 5G should improve the value chain processes across those industries, making the economy more competitive, resilient, productive, and bringing more value to society. This view is outlined in the paper of the Commission's 5G Public-Private Partnership, set up to support 5G innovation and industry competitiveness, and show how 5G can empower vertical industries that will use enhanced connectivity to digitise.

In February, during the Mobile World Congress, Commissioner Oettinger challenged these vertical sectors to work together with the Commission on a 5G action plan and think together on the measures, timetable and investment incentives needed for a coordinated launch of the 5G in Europe. In July, Commissioner Oettinger will meet again representatives of the telecom industry and vertical sectors where he will receive a manifesto containing a list with actions to tackle key issues for the 5G implementation.

5G deployment in the Digital Single Market

5G deployment will leverage the take up of 5G standards at national level, and boost the competitiveness of European industry. Europe needs a consistent approach for the deployment of 5G infrastructures across the 28 EU countries if it to have a EU "home market" for 5G products and services.

There is increasing evidence that the ultimate objective for the deployment of 5G communications will not be limited to upgrading the existing infrastructure to a more performant one. It is also about providing a truly interoperable global platform to enable network operators, several industries and the public sector to design new services, and in some cases to re-invent themselves entirely. 5G will also build on the already on-going investments in 4G, in WiFi, in low-power networks, in a very high capacity communications networks, including fibre and satellite. The emerging vision is that 5G will allow these technologies to interoperate and form ubiquitous and programmable digital platforms, exploiting new features such as ultra-high reliability, security, speed and capacity, while reducing energy consumption.

The Communication on Digitising European industry announced a 5G Action Plan calling for coordinated investment in the next generation ubiquitous 5G networks in order to deliver on industry's connectivity needs.