The European Commission and the South Korean government have signed what they are calling “a landmark agreement” to further the development of 5G mobile technology.
Neelie Kroes, EU commissioner for the Digital Agenda and Mun-Kee Choi, South Korea’s minister of science, have agreed to work towards a global definition of 5G and cooperate on 5G research.
They have also agreed on the need for harmonised radio spectrum to ensure global interoperability and the preparation of global standards for 5G.
Both sides will work towards a coordinated call for research project proposals, to be launched in 2016. An industry memorandum of understanding will be signed between the EU’s 5G Infrastructure Association, whose members include Alcatel-Lucent, Atos, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Nokia, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telenor and Telefonica, and South Korea’s 5G Forum.
Kroes said that 5G will become the lifeblood of the digital economy and digital society once it is established, adding: “This is the first time ever that public authorities have joined together in this way, with the support of private industry, to push forward the process of standardisation. Today’s declaration signals our commitment to being global digital leaders.”
Last December, the Commission launched a Public-Private Partnership on 5G and is committed to investing €700 million over the next seven years into the 5GPPP.
EU industry is set to match this investment by up to five times, to more than three billion euros. South Korea is investing and coordinating research its efforts through 5G Forum and there are other public and industry-led initiatives in China, Japan, Taiwan and the US.
At Mobile World Congress in February 2014 Kroes called for bold steps towards global consensus on the scope of 5G, calling for a timetable for the scope of 5G, its technological constituents and a timetable to put it all in place to be prepared by the end of 2015.
Both parties also reaffirmed their commitment to the agreement made at their Nov 2103 summit, when they agreed to promote R&D collaboration in ICT. This included the setting up of working group to prepare for ICT R&D cooperation and policy discussions in the areas of cloud 5G and internet of things.
They plan to launch jointly funded R&D programmes in 2016/17.