The European Commission (EC) pressed for collaboration among member countries to accelerate and ease 5G deployments, including cutting red tape, improving access to spectrum, and cross-border coordination on frequency assignment.

In a document outlining recommendations for the development of high speed fibre and 5G services across the economic bloc, it called on European Union countries to work on a common approach to address hurdles currently hampering deployments.

Included in the issues it aims to tackle are a reduction in 5G deployment costs, removal of unnecessary administrative hurdles, and support of cross-border services in the transport and industrial sectors.

It added it was essential to “avoid or minimise any delays in granting access to radio spectrum to ensure timely deployment of 5G”.

Among the suggested policies, the EC said a deadline of four months should be imposed for granting or declining permission for civil works associated with high-speed network deployment. It also called for “timely and investment-friendly access to 5G radio spectrum”.

EC Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton (pictured) added: “At a time when access to broadband internet represents both a fundamental commodity for Europeans and a geostrategic stake for companies, we must, together with member states, enable and accelerate the rollout of secure fibre and 5G networks.”

The EC wants its members to identify and share best practices to achieve its aims by 20 December, with guidelines then agreed by 30 March 2021.

Positive step
Following the release of the EC’s latest document, GSMA head of public policy in Europe Laszlo Toth said: “These are boldest steps yet to get the European Commission’s 5G action plan back on track. They targeted the tightest bottlenecks: best practices for spectrum auctions and faster site permits.”

The state of Europe’s 5G rollouts has been criticised by a wide number of parties, including business groups and industry associations warning the continent is severely lagging other industrial powerhouses.