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

Belgian regulator considers spectrum for private 5G networks

BIPT is consulting on a proposal to open up the 3.8-4.2 GHz band for 5G private networks.

Orange Belgium deploys Standalone 5G

Together with partners Ericsson, Nokia and Oracle, the mobile operator is deploying a 5G Standalone core network on a cloud-native architecture.

Tele2 Lithuania launches 5G

The service will use recently acquired spectrum from the country’s 5G auctions.

Spain and Portugal trial first 5G autonomous public transport

The 5G-driven public transport system had its first run crossing the Spanish-Portuguese border.

European operators pilot 5G holographic calls

Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone Group teamed up with company Matsuko for a trial to make holographic calls employing 5G and edge computing.

Estonia and Latvia sign a coordination agreement for 3.6 GHz

The new cross-border agreement ensures better 5G coverage without interference.

EU telcos say streaming companies should make “fair contribution” to 5G network investment

The comments relate to a wider political debate about whether the “over-the-top” players which generate so much network traffic should contribute to network costs.

5G Stand Alone with network slicing launched in Finland

A deal with Nokia will allow the Finnish operator Telia to boost its broadband offering by providing Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) using a dedicated slice of its 5G network.

5G Observatory workshop scheduled for 20th October

The 5G Observatory will be holding its 4th Stakeholder Workshop online on Thursday, 20th October between 10:30 – 13:30.

all news in Europe
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