Written by Ron Davies,
5G refers to a future, fifth generation of mobile network telecommunications technologies. While research on the technical characteristics and potential uses of 5G is ongoing, 5G is expected to represent a major leap forward from current telecommunications technologies, including revolutionary changes in radio interfaces and spectrum use. On the basis of current trends and potential uses, 5G networks will be faster, always accessible, highly reliable and efficient in handling a very large number of devices (including smart objects in the Internet of Things).
By supporting a world in which ‘anyone and anything will be connected at anytime and anywhere’, 5G is expected to enable new applications in various domains, including entertainment, health, transport and industry. However deployment of this new generation of mobile technology in the decade starting in 2020 will also likely give rise to uses (and consequences) that are difficult to foresee at the current time. On the basis of past generations of mobile technology, the increased networking supported by 5G is likely to stimulate economic growth, not just in the information and communication technology sector, but in many areas of the economy.
The EU is providing financial support to 5G research, and has concluded cooperation agreements on 5G development with South Korea, Japan and China. These efforts are intended to contribute to a strong European digital economy, by helping European companies win a significant share of markets related to the new generation of mobile networks. Other sectors of the European economy are also expected to benefit from the increased efficiency, new services and innovative business models that 5G networks should make possible.
Read the complete briefing on ‘5G network technology: Putting Europe at the leading edge‘.