Public Funding of 5G Deployment
Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF): 130 billion EUR
Above all, the Covid-19 pandemic has shown the importance of resilient and very high broadband communications. 5G and digital applications are welcome, from healthcare to remote education, media, telework, retail and transport as everything that could has become virtual. The Covid-19 showed how connectivity is crucial in our lives and how coverage is key, including in non-urban areas.
Remote healthcare is one of the major use cases for 5G. In that sense, the coronavirus is very timely. It requires real-time UHD/VR/AR videos enabled by 5G through low latency, very high speeds and very high capacity. Monitoring, surveillance, detection and prevention of Covid-19 can be successful using cellular networks and IoT. In the media field, 5G very high data rates and low latencies can allow 4K or 8K HD live streaming or even AR/VR in affected areas. In the education field, with the remote classes in many countries, 5G enables high quality videos and VR/AR immersive classes. China Mobile is heavily involved solutions for remote learning. 5G is helpful in collecting real-time information on vehicles, monitoring connected vehicles. It is also crucial when transporting strongly affected patients. In the retail field, we all experienced the covid-19 consequences of panic buying and of supply chain disruption. Increased 5G, IoT, and AI would be helpful to avoid shortage of food in some areas.
That is why the Commission and Member States have identified 5G as a key area for investment for the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). In July 2020, Member States agreed on a recovery package to mitigate the effect of the crisis. The package is called NextGenerationEU (NGEU). It comprises 750 billion EUR in loans and grants to the EU Members. The NGEU will invest 672.5 billion EUR to the RRF of which 360 billion EUR will be loans and 312.5 billion EUR will be grants. 20% of the total budget (130 billion EUR) should be devoted to digital. Horizon Europe will get an additional 5 billion EUR. RRF will complement Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and Digital Europe Programme strategic and R&D investments. In addition, many countries identified 5G as a key lever for recovery after the pandemic. In France, 5G is part of the “Plan de Relance” as a strategic field for the country. In Germany, 5G is seen as a key tool to speed up mobile coverage and reduce white spots.
Structural and investment Funds (ESIF): 6 billion EUR for digital networks
- European Regional Fund (EFRD)
- European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)
Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) – Telecom Strand
- Broadband Fund (CEBF):
Expected leverage of 1-1.7 billion EUR for broadband deployment in underserved areas
Investments between 1 million and 30 million EUR for projects representing total costs of up to 150 million EUR
Operational launch in 2018
- WiFi4EU Initiative
- 120 million EUR for equipment
European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)
- Initiative launched to help overcome the current investment gap in the EU by mobilising private financing for strategic investments
- Up to now over 2.2 billion for NGA projects
The ESA Satellite 5G initiative (S45G)
The European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Space Industry joined forces in the field of Satellite for 5G. They are aiming at developing and demonstrating the added value that Satellite brings in the context of 5G. They indicate that satellite will bring added value in facilitating Pan-European and global coverage, resilience, mobility and security for the provision of 5G services and as enabler of innovative infrastructure and services. For that purpose, priority will be given to Verticals in which satellites can have a prominent role, such as transport, media and entertainment, public safety, without precluding additional relevant Verticals and use cases.
The ESA Satellite 5G initiative supports development activities falling within the following two activity types:
- Activity Type 1: Technology and Product Development & Validation Trials These activities relate to the development of 5G integrated satellite terrestrial system and/or its components.
- Activity Type 2: Applications development & Vertical Pilots These activities relate to the development and/or demonstration of applications and services based on 5G networks and space based systems, where potential users are involved in the pilots.
Information on funding mechanisms and proposals can be found here.