European Commission (EC)-backed group the 5G Infrastructure Association (5GIA) warned premature launch announcements risked fragmenting and damaging international efforts to deploy the technology.
In the second edition of the public-private partnership’s 5G pan-European Trials Roadmap, unveiled at a global 5G event in Seoul yesterday (23 November), it reiterated the importance of international collaboration and highlighted the need to focus on important use cases which are attracting only limited industry attention.
Following a range of successful platform trials including initiatives in Berlin, Barcelona and Athens, the 5GIA said more effort was needed to extend these capabilities across Europe.
“It is very important to avoid premature ‘5G’ launch announcements and the subsequent potential fragmentation among the different countries, which would hurt both industry and consumers,” the group stated.
“Instead, the aim should be towards a 5G globally harmonised standard, which can only be achieved via international cooperation.”
In terms of vertical use cases, it pointed to wide interest in connected vehicles and smart city deployments, but a perceived lack of commitment for other “critical” vertical clusters. These include digital health, and measures to address public safety and the digital divide.
“It is recommended putting a focus on other less addressed verticals,” the 5GIA said: “As of now such cross-vertical pilots should be further encouraged.”
Going for goals
In its latest 5G roadmap, the association said significant progress was being made to finalise the first 5G cities in most European countries – which have been the subject of a number of announcements in recent months.
The organisation reiterated its goal was to showcase the vast potential of 5G technology at the next European Football championships in 2020.
UEFA Euro 2020 will take place across 13 cities in Europe and be used to demonstrate a range of technologies enabled by the new technology. It was identified due to the large audience expected to attend and wide international interest.
By then, the technology should have been deployed commercially in a number of locations, if industry timelines prove accurate.
“The target flagship event has to get widespread media attention and serve as a milestone for industry, governments and the general public that 5G is coming now and is beneficial for individuals and society,” the organisation said.