All about the European Commission’s new 5G action plan
The European Commission has proposed a new 5G action plan aiming to ensure 5G is fully deployed across the European Union by 2025.
On the occasion of European Commission (EC) president Jean-Claude Juncker’s 2016 State of the Union address on Wednesday, the EC proposed an overhaul of the European Union (EU) telecoms rules, including a 5G action plan to ensure 5G is fully deployed across the EU by 2025. “Connectivity is a key prerequisite for Europe’s digital future: The Internet of Things, digitisation of industry, cloud, big data – all this demands secure and ubiquitous connectivity, with the best speed and quality. Europe has the ambition to lead on the deployment of 5G. It is time to move to a gigabit society and make sure all Europeans, whether in the countryside or in cities, can get access to a quality internet connection,” said Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society.
The main goals of the reformed telecoms rules are to help realize the vision of a digital single market and boost economic growth in the region by stimulating investment in very high-capacity networks. As stressed by commissioner Oettinger, the EU also wants to take the lead in 5G – and avoid falling behind as it did with 4G.
5G one of three connectivity objectives
The EC put forward three connectivity objectives to be achieved by 2025. One of them is ensuring that all urban areas and major roads and railways have uninterrupted 5G coverage by 2025. As an interim target, 5G should be commercially available in at least one major city in each EU member state by 2020. Also, all schools, universities, research centers, transport hubs, all providers of public services and enterprises relying on digital technologies should have access to extremely high gigabit connectivity and all European households should have access to download speeds of at least 100 Mbps by 2025.
Achieving these objectives could result in an increase in GDP of €910 billion ($1,022 billion) across the Union and the creation of 1.3 million jobs by 2025. It will also require massive investments. The EC estimates that reaching the connectivity objectives will require a €500 billion ($562 billion) investment in the next ten years, coming mostly from the private sector, and expects there will be a €155 billion ($174 billion) investment shortfall. The EC proposed therefore a new European Electronic Communications Code to boost competition and facilitate investments in new high-speed infrastructure. The new code proposes long license durations, coupled with more stringent requirements to use spectrum effectively and efficiently. In order to ensure the timely release of spectrum and more converged spectrum policies across the EU, the EC also proposes to coordinate basic parameters such as the timing of assignments. In order to encourage new commercial access agreements, the proposed code would also reduce regulation in situations where competing carriers want to co-invest in high-speed infrastructure.
The EC’s 5G action plan
The EC presented a 5G action plan to ensure a number of 5G-related goals are achieved. These goals include the coordinated commercial launch of 5G in EU countries by 2020, the coordination of 5G spectrum bands allocation and pan-European 5G trials starting 2018. The 5G action plan also aims to promote global 5G standards and encourage the adoption of national 5G deployment roadmaps across all EU member states.
In addition, the EC proposed to provide venture capital to 5G startups together with investors in the telecoms sector. “This would take the form of a specialised venture financing facility helping them to bring new services to market such as in the area of automated driving, goods delivered by drones, or virtual reality for specific professional collaboration,” the EC stated.
A new investment plan for Europe
EC president Jean-Claude Juncker also proposed to double the duration and financial capacity of the three-year €315 billion ($354 billion) Investment Plan for Europe. Launched a year ago, the plan has already raised €116 billion ($130 billion) in investments, provided loans for more than 200,000 small firms and start-ups across Europe got loans and created over 100,000 new jobs. According to Junker’s proposition, the Investment Plan for Europe will provide a total of at least €500 billion ($562 billion) of investments by 2020, and reach €630 billion ($709 billion) by 2022.
As of 2015, 71 percent of European households had access to an internet connection with download speeds of at least 30 Mbps. In rural areas, that share was only 28 percent. The EU average for 4G mobile coverage was 86 percent, but only 28 percent in rural areas.
IIoT News Recap: SAP and NTT to co-develop IoT solutions for the transportation industry; Michigan passes legislation supporting self-driving vehicles; Boston only months away from testing self-driving vehicles; ZigBee home automation market to grow 26 percent to 2020
Transportation: SAP and NTT to co-develop IoT solutions for the transportation industry
In order to provide more accurate and real-time information about vehicles and drivers’ conditions, German software giant SAP and Japanese operator NTT announced the companies are enhancing their existing partnership to collaborate on the development of an IoT solutions to support safe operation in the transportation industry. The solution will combine a connected transportation safety solution from SAP with NTT’s sensing fabric hitoe and NTT’s Internet of Things (IoT) analytics platform. SAP’s solution will collect and analyze vehicle-related data while NTT’s IoT analytics platform will transmit drivers’ biological data including heart rate and mental fatigue estimates. “NTT wants to contribute to business transformation for its enterprise customers by providing quality, value-added services with partners. A global partnership with SAP is a significant step to strengthen our competitive edge. This partnership will help NTT enhance capabilities to support our global clients, and can accelerate digital transformation of industries,” said Jun Sawada, senior executive vice president of NTT. A field trial will be starting in October 2016, with the goal of providing service in the U.S. and Europe by January 2017.
Autonomous driving: Michigan passes legislation supporting self-driving vehicles
The Michigan senate approved four bills supporting autonomous vehicle research. If passed by the House, the legislation package would allow the American Center for Mobility to redevelop the Willow Run Airport for more autonomous vehicle testing and research, the Michigan Daily reports. Michigan is one of seven U.S. states allowing testing of autonomous cars on public roads.
Autonomous driving: Boston only months away from testing self-driving vehicles
Boston city officials announced on Wednesday the city was teaming up with the World Economic Forum to test driverless vehicles in order to develop polices, International Business Times reports. “If this technology is going to yield benefits for the consumer, we want to make sure it works in the city of Boston,” said Chris Osgood, the city’s chief of streets. “We want to make sure we’re doing our due diligence and understanding what the implications are. How do we set up the right policies and take the right approach to this so it’s going to have the biggest net benefit?”
Today’s forecast: ZigBee home automation market to grow 26 percent to 2020
The global ZigBee home automation market is set to benefit from the overall growth trend in the smart home market and record a growth of 26 percent between 2016-2020. In 2015, an estimated 111.5 million households had a smart home, according to a new report by Sandler Research. North America was there leading the way, with a penetration rate of 23 percent. In 2015, the Americas dominated the global ZigBee home automation market, accounting for around 64 percent of the overall market share.