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EU and South Korea Agree Joint 5G Mobile Broadband Development Deal

Monday, Jun 16th, 2014 (9:47 am) - Score 412

The next generation of 5G based Mobile Broadband services, which could deliver speeds of up to 10Gbps (Gigabits per second) or more, appeared to come a step closer today after Europe and South Korea signed a new deal that will see both working jointly towards a global definition of the new standard and to cooperate in research.

Crucially the new Joint Declaration on Strategic Cooperation also involves the need for harmonized radio spectrum to ensure global interoperability, which could help roaming connectivity. Both sides will also work towards a coordinated call for research project proposals, which is set to be launched in 2016.

It’s understood that an industry Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will now be signed between the EU’s 5G Infrastructure Association (5GIA members include: Alcatel-Lucent, Atos, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Nokia, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telenor and Telefonica) and South Korea’s related 5G Forum.

Neelie Kroes, EC Vice President, said:

5G will become the new lifeblood of the digital economy and digital society once it is established. Both Europe and 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. Today’s declaration signals the our commitment to being global digital leaders.”

Meanwhile the UK still seems to be funding its own seemingly separate 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) at Surrey University, which was setup in 2012 and is supported by around £35m from the Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Interestingly the members list for 5GIC is a little different from the EU’s 5GIA (5GIC members include: Aeroflex Test Solutions, AIRCOM (TEOCO), BBC, BT, EE, Fujitsu Labs EU, Huawei, Rohde & Schwarz, Samsung, Telefonica and Vodafone).

Suffice to say that the EU correctly characterises the hunt for a new 5G standard as a “global race” and indeed we’ve seen several potential solutions already, with Samsung and Huawei being the holders of the most commonly touted options. However plenty of other firms and countries have already proposed their own alternatives.

Naturally countries don’t all have to adopt the same standard but Smartphone manufactures will be keen to see greater harmonisation this time around, even though all these rival solutions may be at risk of breeding exactly the opposite outcome. But it’s nice to have options and competition like this can breed innovation.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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