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European telecommunication ministers agree on blueprint for 5G

Europe's telecommunication ministers have agreed on a joint blueprint in an effort to accelerate the development of 5G networks across the continent. The GSMA have projected that 5G will account for almost 31% of all mobile connections by 2025.

The 5G roadmap devised by Europe's telecommunication ministers will constitute a common understanding on the harmonization of 5G spectrum bands and its subsequent allocation to operators across the region.

The main objectives of the 5G blueprint is to establish 5G connectivity in Europe's largest cities by 2025, whilst it also hopes to have the next-generation technology along every major transport route in every EU nation in the same timeframe.

Swedish operator Ericsson has claimed that they expect to see first commercial deployment in Europe in either 2018, or 2019. The telecommunications colossus has said that initial 5G launches in Europe will be driven towards use cases for autonomous driving and healthcare, with 5G recognized as being a necessary component for emerging technologies such Internet of Things and AI.

The European Commission created a 5G for Europe Action Plan, in order to ensure every country benefits from the next generation technology which some analysts are predicting will have an impact similar to the introduction of electricity. The EU has been progressive in its approach to 5G, and as far back as 2013, it established a Public-Private=Partnership (5G-PPP) with the aim of making sure that 5G technology is available in Europe by 2020.

The strategic objective of the roadmap is to create an ecosystem for public and private investment on 5G infrastructure in the EU. The 5G blueprint has implemented several measures in order to ensure a coordinated approach amongst all EU member states in a bid to make 5G accessible to all countries in the EU by 2020.

This initiative stipulates that EU timetable should be driven by the following key objectives:

  • Promoting preliminary trials, under the 5G-PPP arrangement, to take place from 2017 onwards, and pre-commercial trials with a clear EU cross-border dimension from 2018.
  • Encouraging member states to develop, by end 2017, national 5G deployment roadmaps as part of the national broadband plans.
  • Ensuring that every member state will identify at least one major city to be "5G enabled" by the end of 2020 and that all urban areas and major terrestrial transport paths have uninterrupted 5G coverage by 2025.