EC unveils digital plan for industry - Mobile World Live

EC unveils digital plan for industry

19 APR 2016

The European Commission wants to speed up the standards-making process with a focus on five priority areas: 5G, cloud computing, Internet of Things, data technologies and cybersecurity.

Making the standards regime move faster in Europe is one of a raft of measures unveiled by the commission to help European industry, SMEs, researchers and public authorities make the most of new technologies.

In addition, the EC will set up large-scale pilot projects to boost IoT, advanced manufacturing and technologies for smart cities and homes, connected cars and mobile health services.

How much cash might be on offer for such projects was not revealed, although the commission did say its plans in total “should mobilise over €50 billion of public and private investments” in support of digitisation.

Andrus Ansip, vice president for the digital single market (pictured), said: “We need the right scale for technologies such as cloud computing, data-driven science and the internet of things to reach their full potential.”

Vodafone concern
However, one leading operator group, Vodafone, while supporting the initiative, expressed concern whether Europe’s underlying infrastructure could support it.

The EC strategy assumes that fibre optic networks delivering gigabit speeds will be ubiquitous across the EU, said Vodafone.  “Yet the connectivity required to attain digital industrial leadership is lacking in many Member States which remain reliant on outdated copper telephone networks rather than gigabit fibre,” said a statement.

This is “particularly true” in Germany where Vodafone is a leading player in fixed as well as mobile networks. The commission currently has a decision before it from the German regulator that supports “short-term incremental” upgrades to legacy copper networks, said the company, “which would leave German businesses and consumers trapped in the slow lane of Europe.”


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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