EU members pushed to accelerate 5G auction plans - Mobile World Live

EU members pushed to accelerate 5G auction plans

23 JAN 2019

LIVE FROM THE EUROPEAN 5G CONFERENCE, BRUSSELS: National authorities in Europe need to get serious on allocating 5G frequencies, the head of the group managing the European Commission’s digital agenda warned.

Roberto Viola, who leads the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (pictured) said several member states needed to move faster, following the publication of legal obligations by the EU in December 2018. He noted some countries were at still at the stage of public consultations, while others were experiencing legal issues with the spectrum allocation progress.

“I urge everybody to be serious about the legal obligations to make the frequencies available,” he said. “What is worrying is the delay in some member states that are usually very good in digital deployment. In some member states there is not even a date. In some there is a consultation, we need much more.”

He added the next few months were crucial if the EU was going to meet its various 5G targets, but believes there is “no need to use the whip” because the rewards speak for themselves.

Voila also noted the majority of countries were “ready to go” on the allocation of 5G-suitable frequencies by 2020.

While industry figures have lately attempted to dampen the rhetoric on 5G, Viola said he believed the technology was worth the hype as it was “the glue” which held together artificial intelligence, blockchain and high performance cloud computing.

He noted it was not important to be the first region to launch 5G, but said the EU was in a good position to lead in some segments of the ecosystem, specifically connected transportation systems.

Viola said two of the aims of his department was to eventually make the EU accident free and pollution free using connected vehicle technology.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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