The European Union will form a 5G Action Plan by the end of this year, in order to ensure that it capitalizes on the opportunities of the new mobile technology and does not repeat the “failure” of 4G, European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Gunther Oettinger announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday. Meanwhile, at the same event, South Korean operator SK Telecom demonstrated a 20.5 Gbps 5G system, created in partnership with Nokia.
As the worldwide speed race accelerates, creation and viable implementation of next-generation mobile networks will be key to operators wishing to grow and make sure their customers remain satisfied. Operators must keep pace with the ever-growing data demand, which is driven by data-hungry services such as entertainment content streaming, as well as the burgeoning Internet of Things. It will most likely be 2018 or 2019 before 5G becomes a reality for everyday users in developed markets, but providers need to start as soon as possible, and at the moment, it appears that South Korea is ahead of Europe. The EU is right to make 5G the subject of a major policy initiative.