The news that the European Union has formed a research partnership with South Korea for the development of ultrafast 5G mobile broadband technology has been welcomed by the EU commissioner for telecoms Neelie Kroes.
“5G will become the new lifeblood of the digital economy and digital society once it is established," said Kroes in a statement. “This is the first time ever that public authorities have joined together in this way, with the support of private industry, to push forward the process of standardisation.”
While Europe led the way in the mobile sector in the 1990s, the US and Asia now offers faster 4G networks to customers. Now Kroes hopes that the joint research project will push Europe back to the forefront of mobile technology.
Using 5G technology, users will be able to access a high-definition film in six seconds compared to the current offering, 4G, taking up to six minutes in download time.
The EU plans to spend €700 million (£560 million) on researching 5G technologies over the next seven years. Telecoms firms - including Alcatel-Lucent, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and Orange - will contribute over €3 billion to projects involving the next-generation mobile network.
The European-based 5G Infrastructure Association, of which the above technology companies are members, will work alongside South Korea’s 5G working group.
The new partnership will allow the European Union and South Korea to agree a common 5G standard with a rollout timetable to be released by the end of next year.