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

The Netherlands to award 3.6 GHz band in late 2023

A special advisory committee to the Dutch government has released its recommendation for moving forward on the delayed spectrum award.

Policy workshop on EU microchips act to take place June 16

A workshop organised by COREnect will discuss steps to achieve European leadership in microelectronics and connectivity.

EU and China lagging behind in mmWave spectrum

The new 5G Observatory report reveals the average EU country has assigned just a fraction of the mmWave spectrum awarded in the USA, South Korea and Japan.

Slovakia completes 3.5 GHz 5G auction

The country’s leading four operators all won licences in the award, which raised a total of €63.6 million.

EU27 achieve 64% 5G population coverage

The new 5G Observatory report reveals a significant increase in the levels of 5G coverage.

Report: greater use of non-pioneer bands linked to lower download speeds

The new 5G Observatory report says two thirds of European mobile operators are including non-pioneer bands in their 5G rollout.

5G Observatory releases new streamlined quarterly report

The 5G Observatory has published its new quarterly report which gives readers an updated overview of major new 5G developments in Europe and international markets.

New industry body offers support and funding for 5G startups

Bouygues Telecom, Cellnex, KPN, MTN, Telefonica and WindTre have come together in a new telco alliance, named Alaian, to connect their innovation ecosystems and support startups in 5G-based ventures.

Cyprus is “first EU country with 100% 5G coverage”

Having recently completed their 5G mobile network, Cyprian operator Cyta claims it now covers the country’s whole population.

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