EU 5G Initiatives

There have been several initiatives announced by the EU Commission that aim to maximise the potential of 5G. This page outlines all the major initiatives and their aims.

The first major 5G initiative announced by the EU Commission was the 5G Action plan which was announced in 2016. It established pioneer bands and set 5G targets. One target was the commercial launch of 5G services in all EU countries by 2020. Most EU countries achieved this goal, with only a few still pursuing it.

In 2016, the Commission launched the Gigabit Society. It sets out a vision for connectivity in the EU over the next decade. Major targets include 100 Mbps speed networks for all households and gigabit speeds for key businesses and institutions. 5G can help in achieving these speeds through technologies such as fixed wireless access (FWA).

The initiative also sets 5G specific targets such as uninterrupted 5G coverage in all urban areas and major transport paths and access to mobile data everywhere by 2025.

Announced in 2021, the EU toolbox for 5G security is a set of measures that aim to secure 5G networks in the EU. The toolbox strengthens security requirements for mobile networks, assess the risks posed by suppliers and limits any dependency on a single vendor.

The most recent announcement made by the EU Commission is the EU Digital Decade. Announced in March of 2021, the EU Digital Decade sets out a vision for Europe’s digital transformation by 2030. The initiative is made up of four key areas: ICT skills; business transformation; secure and sustainable digital infrastructures; and digitalisation of public services.

5G plays an important role in this initiative. The Digital Decade sets a goal for coverage of all populated areas and main transport paths by 2030 and regards 5G verticals as digital transformation enablers for businesses.

In September 2021, the EU Commission announced the Path to the Digital Decade, a concrete plan to achieve the digital transformation outlined in the Digital Decade. The Commission plans to work with Member States to develop trajectories that will help assess their progress towards the targets. It will also publish a yearly report that will monitor progress.

The 5G Observatory will monitor progress towards all of these policy initiatives in both its quarterly report and in the news section of this website. Click any of the policy initiatives in the ‘EU initiatives’ menu at the top of the page to see related news stories.

Latest News in Europe

5G Observatory releases new July 2022 report

The 5G Observatory has published its latest report which gives readers an overview of 5G developments within the EU and internationally.

Political agreement reached on the 2030 Policy Programme: Path to the Digital Decade

The European Parliament and the Council of the EU have reached a political agreement on the programme.

Telia says it covers 1/3rd of Estonia’s population with 5G

Estonian operator Telia says it now operates 204 5G base stations and is using its newly acquired spectrum licences in the 3.6 GHz band.

Cosmote says its 5G network now covers 70% of Greece’s population

The Greek mobile network operator says it expects its network to cover 80% of the population by the end of this year.

Frankfurt Airport and NTT to build “Europe’s largest” private 5G network

Work on building 5G infrastructure for the project is due to begin in the third quarter of this year.

Telefónica and Ericsson complete 5G network slicing demo

The companies have also agreed to share their findings with the GSMA and the wider industry.

Report: Private 4G/5G equipment market slowing

Telecom market analyst Dell’Oro Group says the private wireless radio access network (RAN) market is developing at a slower pace than expected.

Telefónica says its 5G network now reaches 50% of Germany’s population

The mobile network provider says it has reached its target six months ahead of schedule.

Ericsson, Qualcomm and Thales partner to bring 5G to space

The three companies say they will conduct tests involving non-terrestrial 5G networks connected to smartphones.

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