EC Seeks Collaboration and Acceleration of 5G Deployments

The European Commission has taken new steps in the Digital Decade agenda to strengthen Europe's digital sovereignty. It has published a Recommendation calling Member States to boost investment in high-capacity broadband infrastructure, including 5G, the most fundamental block of the digital transformation and an essential pillar of the recovery.

"The timely deployment of 5G networks will offer significant economic opportunities for the years to come, as a crucial asset for European competitiveness, sustainability and a major enabler for future digital services," the EC said in a document. The EC proposed a new regulation for the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking to maintain and advance Europe's leading role in supercomputing technology to underpin the entire digital strategy and to ensure the Union's competitiveness in the global setting.

“Broadband and 5G connectivity lay the foundation for the green and digital transformation of the economy, regardless if we talk about transport and energy, healthcare and education, or manufacturing and agriculture. And we have seen the current crisis highlight the importance of access to very high-speed internet for businesses, public services and citizens, but also to accelerate the pace towards 5G. We must therefore work together towards fast network rollout without any further delays,” said Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president for a Europe fit for the digital age.

The EC wants its members to identify and share best practices to achieve its aims by 20 December, with guidelines then agreed by 30 March 2021. The state of Europe’s 5G rollouts has been criticised by a wide number of parties, including business groups and industry associations warning the continent is severely lagging other industrial powerhouses.

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