The EU and China have pledged to work hand in hand on rolling out the next generation of mobiles and mobile networks.
Digi Commissioner Gunther H-dot Oettinger signed a symbolic agreement with Miao Wei, Chinese Minister of Industry and Information Technology at Monday’s “High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue” in Beijing.
“5G will be the backbone of our digital economies and societies worldwide. This is why we strongly support and seek a global consensus and cooperation on 5G,” said Oettinger.
The parties want to reach an understanding on the concept, basic functionalities, key technologies and time plan for 5G by the end of this year.
Hopes are high for the next generation of mobile communications, the successor of the currently deployed 4G, with speeds many times faster than the previous generation.
According to the European Commission, China and the EU will jointly promote global standardisation for 5G through bilateral research projects, as well as cooperating in identifying the most promising radio frequency bands to meet the new spectrum requirements for 5G.
The Commish has already announced €700m in funding to support research and innovation in 5G.
Chinese digital equipment manufacturers are keen to work with the EU as Europe is a large export market, said Luigi Gambardella, president of industry organisation ChinaEU, and former head of ETNO (European Telecoms and Network Operators association).
“However, 5G is not fully defined yet. The aim is to provide seamless connectivity everywhere and all the time," said Gambardella.
"It is not just an improvement of the current mobile technology, allowing faster smartphones and tablets, 5G will be the global industry standard for many different technologies. It is important to clarify how China will benefit from a closer collaboration with Europe on 5G," he added.
This joint declaration follows similar agreements with South Korea and Japan signed with the Commission in recent months. ®