EU says 5G can lead post-Covid economic recovery

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The European Commission (EC) has urged EU member states to develop a common approach to the deployment of fibre and 5G services, arguing that connectivity can help the bloc in its economic recovery from coronavirus.

Margrethe Verstager, the EC’s head of digital policy, wants the creation of a ‘toolbox’ of best practices by March 30 next year, arguing this will facilitate the faster rollout of next-generation networks across the continent.

Specifically, the EC wants member states to remove regulatory hurdles and stage a coordinated release of spectrum to mobile operators.

EU 5G investment

Harmonised spectrum awards along with other measures will ensure cross-border mobile services that help fulfil the objectives of the European Digital Single Market. Cross-border services will be necessary for certain applications like logistics and enable economies of scale for vendors.

In addition to aiding Europe’s post-Covid recovery, Verstager also reiterated the long-term economic benefits of 5G networks that were being touted by the industry before the pandemic struck. She added that 5G, along with other fields like supercomputing, will also aid the EU’s technological capabilities at a time when the sector is a focus of international disputes.

“Broadband and 5G connectivity lay the foundation for the green and digital transformation of the economy, regardless if we talk about transport and energy, healthcare and education, or manufacturing and agriculture,” she said.

“And we have seen the current crisis highlight the importance of access to very high-speed internet for businesses, public services and citizens, but also to accelerate the pace towards 5G. We must therefore work together towards fast network rollout without any further delays.”


Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.