What is the European 5G Observatory?

This site monitors the progress towards the EU’s 5G policy goals. It is funded by the European Commission and from August 2021 has been produced by a consortium of three companies VVAPolicyTracker and LS Telcom.

The 5G Observatory started in 2018 and it currently in its third phase. In its first phase it assessed movement towards the policy goals set out in the 5G Action Plan, most of which have been achieved. The key goal was to foster a coordinated EU approach to 5G with the release of the 5G pioneer spectrum bands (700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz) and commercial launches by 2020. This has happened in most member states, but not all. We continue to assess progress in this area.

However, the main focus of the 5G Observatory in its third phase is the EU policy goals contained within the Digital Decade initiative and the 5G Security Toolbox.  These include:

  • 5G coverage of all populated areas by 2030
  • Pan-European deployment of 5G corridors
  • Multi-country 5G initiatives
  • Leveraging EU recovery funds for 5G projects
  • Improving the security of 5G networks
  • Limiting any dependency on a single 5G vendor
  • Stimulating the EU’s capabilities as a 5G equipment manufacturer

To monitor these goals we examine issues such as  5G coveragespectrum awards; and public policies to stimulate 5G’s growth. The adoption of 5G by new vertical industries like factories and agriculture is a particularly important topic because the Digital Decade initiative sees 5G verticals as key to digital transformation for businesses.

Our monitoring comes in two forms: through the news items on this website and in our detailed quarterly reports analysing recent developments.

Our main focus is 5G in Europe, but we also examine major international markets like the USA, Japan, China and South Korea.

The monitoring carried out by Idate Digiworld in the first phase of the 5G Observatory is still available on the archive page. This includes the database of 5G trials.

Latest News in Europe

Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson trial cross-border 5G

The two companies conducted the test at the German and French border, as well as the border of Germany and Luxembourg.

Italy awards more 5G infrastructure funding contracts

A joint venture between Italian mobile operators Vodafone and TIM has won six lots of funding with a combined value of €345 million.

T-Mobile Netherlands signs long-term contract with Ericsson

T-Mobile says it will use Ericsson equipment for its upcoming 5G network. The company had previously used Huawei for its 4G network.

Nokia and Proximus conduct 5G network slicing trial

Nokia and Belgian operator Proximus tested the technology at the Proximus 5G Innovation Lab in Brussels.

Belgium completes 5G spectrum auction

Citymesh Mobile has emerged as a fourth operator in the Belgian market by securing spectrum in all the bands on offer.

Airbus expands 5G private network to new European countries

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus says it will deploy its 5G private network in UK and Spain in the coming months.

Elisa Estonia launches 5G using new 3.6 GHz licence

Elisa says its network will initially be used to offer fixed wireless access (FWA) home and office broadband services.

Nokia launches 5G lab in France

Nokia has announced it will be heading the “5G Innov Lab” platform which will serve as a testing ground for 5G industrial use cases.

Report: 37% of private mobile network deployments use 5G

A new report published by Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) finds that 5G private networks are growing in popularity, although 59% of private networks use LTE rather than 5G.

all news in Europe
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