Nordic nations signed a wide-ranging agreement on 5G deployment across the region, with the aim of driving the digital economy and boosting uptake of the new technology.

Among the measures covered by the pledge was: the creation of joint testbeds; technical co-ordination of 5G bands; easing of regulation on installation of network equipment; and encouraging innovation in transport, emergency communications, industrial automation, energy and agriculture.

In a joint statement, the prime ministers of Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark and Finland said they had “agreed to the common vision of being the first and most integrated 5G region in the world.”

The move was welcomed by the CEOs of some of the largest mobile industry players in the area, who noted the need for appropriate regulation to achieve the political vision.

A letter co-signed by chiefs of Ericsson, Nokia, Iceland Telecom, TDC Group, Tele2 Group, Telenor Group, Telia and Vodafone Iceland said: “We welcome, in particular, the recognition by the leaders that the deployment of 5G will require substantial investments as well as the appropriate regulatory frameworks.”

“Swift elaboration of specific, measurable and time-bound actions to facilitate 5G deployment ecosystems will be crucial to create the right conditions for private investment – the foundation of 5G rollout. Appropriate spectrum assignment rules and removing obstacles to the deployment of 5G infrastructure should be at the centre of such [an] action plan,” it added.