EU and South Korea join forces to make 5G globally compatible (Wired UK)


We imagine the actual signing wasn’t far off from this artist’s interpretation. Maybe the ground wasn’t paved with money.

Stephen Finn/Shutterstock


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Europe and South Korea signed an agreement today vowing to work
together on the future of 5G, plan what services it will interact
with and agreeing on radio band standards to avoid incompatibility
between regions.

The Joint Declaration on Strategic Cooperation in Information
Communications Technology and 5G was signed by both sides in Seoul
this afternoon (16 June). This is a landmark agreement as it’s the
first time the two economic groups have agreed to exchange
knowledge and expertise relating to the Internet of Things. The
agreement also plans to ensure global interoperability of the 5G
network by harmonising the radio spectrum used by enabled
devices.

The move cements the EU’s commitment to digital enterprise,
along with a
reported investment of €700
million (£600 million) from the EU
into the 5G Public-Private
Partnership
— which is set to be matched by up to five times
by industry.

Expected planning for future 5G applications include the wiring
together of not just information networks, but also vehicles, smart
road grids, buildings and health centres — a situation not far off
from current day South Korea. The smart city of Songdo, opened in
2010, has features that allow city amenities to communicate to
perform energy-saving actions such as real-time dimming of street
lights in areas of the city that are less busy. It is this level of
future planning that has attracted the European Commission’s
Digital Agenda Vice President Neelie Kroes to sign the deal.

“5G will become the new lifeblood of the digital economy and
digital society once it is established. Both Europe and South Korea
recognise this,” Kroes said. “This is the first time ever that
public authorities have joined together in this way, with the
support of private industry, to push forward the process of
standardisation. Today’s declaration signals our commitment to
being global digital leaders.”

5G means more than just massively improved speeds, approaching
fibre levels — capable of downloading a one-hour HD movie in 6
seconds. The vision the European Commission shares with South
Korea’s Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) Mr
Mun-Kee Choi is one of an interconnected society. Current smart
devices in the home, such as Nest smoke detectors and thermostats,
will be ubiquitous, requiring higher bandwidths to support the
number of new wireless connections. There are also plans for
vehicles to communicate, with one scenario suggesting a car behind
a truck on a rainy day could patch into the truck’s video feed for
a clearer view of the road ahead. This sort of safety-focussed feed
would require a very low-latency transmission, necessitating the
sort of speeds that 5G could offer.

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The technology for 5G is not expected to arrive until between
2020 and 2030, but Kroes believes that it is never too early to
prepare for the future. Speaking at Mobile World Congress this
year, she said: “Let’s find a global consensus on the scope of 5G,
its main technological constituents, and the timetable for putting
it in place. Let’s work this out together. And let’s work it out
soon: by the end of 2015. So all our citizens can get the 5G boost
as early as possible.”

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16 June 2014 | 5:00 pm – Source: wired.co.uk
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