The Commission is developing improved performance indicators to monitor the rollout of 5G across the European Union.
On the 30th of June, as part of the Path to the Digital Decade, the Commission first adopted the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to better measure the progress made towards achieving 2030 Digital Decade targets.
Alongside these KPIs, it also issued guidance on how Member States should structure their national roadmaps to reach targets. In response to this Member States will adopt national roadmaps by the 9th of October.
The 5G KPI issued by the Commission for the first year of reporting will track the percentage of households that receive a 5G signal, independent of the operator or service quality.
While this approach is seen as satisfactory to track initial 5G deployments, the Digital Decade Committee deemed that further work on KPIs for 5G should be conducted to improve this indicator in the future.
Initially, the Commission proposed tracking 5G deployment in different spectrum bands, with a focus on 3.6 GHz deployment as a proxy for service quality. However, this approach was judged as premature and not sufficiently technology neutral.
Now, a KPI Expert Subcommittee is working to explore options for a possible future revision of 5G KPIs. At the first meeting of the Subcommittee on 12 June, Member States emphasised that targets should be technology neutral, and not based on a particular spectrum band. Additionally, coverage of workplaces, not just households should also be considered.
The Commission is currently considering a KPI that measures the percentage of households that are covered by a network that is capable of offering a minimum channel bandwidth to the end user. The available channel bandwidth is viewed as a potential indicator of network capacity and throughput.
The Commission acknowledges that further work will eventually need to be conducted on measuring 5G service quality and coverage from an end-user perspective. The Commission views this as important, particularly as standalone 5G becomes more widespread, but recognises that this sort of monitoring will require an agreement on standards for targets and measurements.