EU digital Commissioner discusses 5G efforts at the Mobile World Congress
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EU digital Commissioner discusses 5G efforts at the Mobile World Congress

EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger argued during a press conference this week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, that the EU institutions play an integral role for driving forward 5G developments. He added that without the Public-Private Partnerships and without Horizon 2020 funding, Europe would fall behind in the game compared to other regions.

Oettinger also emphasized that in order to “be a 5G leader, one needs to also lead in 4G, but that Europe is still lagging behind on 4G deployments”.

Joined by him on the panel, companies such as Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia, Huawei, Ericsson and Orange also presented their visions for 5G. One concern that was raised by the operators was how the European institutions would “give back operators their competitive edge that they’ve lost with 4G”.

According to Oettinger, 5G should lower entry barriers for third party developers, since networks will become more software-oriented. Oettinger also argued that a digital single market is of utmost importance, as it will enhance economies of scale and scope. He stated that he hopes for a final decision and strategy later this year. Finally, Oettinger also said that he hopes to have the spectrum issue resolved by 2020, and he also reassured the audience that the Public Private Partnership can count on the full support by the European Commission.

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