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5G to take top priority in the EU

The EU's new digital commissioner Mariya Gabriel sees the expansion of the 5G network as the key issue for digitization in the European Union, while the economy is already showing warning signs of a data collapse.

13 Nov. 2017
Source: PwC
Source: PwC

"We need a minimum of coordination," says EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel in an i nterview with German daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).

The high data transfer speeds that 5G enables serve as the basis for the Internet of Things (IoT) and other key technologies. The EU Commission had proposed closely coordinating auctions of the required 5G frequencies across Europe, but the Member States didn't think this necessary. "Frequencies are the coal and steel of the 21st century," Gabriel says. As with the 3G network, the EU needs to once again take the lead – otherwise, it will be dependent on countries like Korea and Japan.

International consultancy PwC also advocates the accelerated expansion of the networks. PwC has found that mobile internet already accounts for a good two thirds of all data consumption, and believes this could reach 77% by 2021. "The question of just how well the digital infrastructure can keep pace with increasing rates of data consumption is, however, going to arise soon enough as a result of this trend," says Werner Ballhaus, Head of Technology, Media, and Telecommunications at PwC Germany.

Even now, most data is consumed downloading and streaming videos. PwC expects this volume to triple by 2021.