EU and South Korea Partner to Accelerate 5G Networks

eu korea infographicThe European Union and South Korea have announced plans to work together to develop the next generation of mobile broadband internet, capable of superfast speeds.

In an agreement signed in Seoul, representatives from both parties declared their intention to cooperate not only on research designed to bring 5G to consumers, but also on ensuring that the necessary radio frequencies were able to support the demands of the new network.

“5G will become the new lifeblood of the digital economy and digital society one it is established,” said Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission for the digital agenda. “Both Europe and South Korea recognise this. 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. Todays declaration signals our commitment to being global digital leaders.

The agreement also included commitments from European companies such as Alcatel-Lucent, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and Orange, who are all part of Europes 5G Infrastructure Association, to work with South Koreas 5G Forum.

The EU is set to invest €700m (£560m) in 5G technology over the next seven years, and hopes to have a timetable in place for its rollout by the end of 2015. 5G will not only mean faster connections, with the EU estimating that a high-definition movie could be downloaded in just six seconds, but will also be crucial to the coping with the increasing number of mobile internet users and the expected growth of connected devices and machine-to-machine communication.