European Union Tries to Clear Regulations for 5G Deployment


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art1The European Union promises to unsaddle companies with less regulation as they deploy 5G. All cities and transport links in the EU should have reliable 5G coverage by 2025, according to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

However, 17 European wireless operators say the blueprint doesn’t match up to their expectations and leaves out key points. Overall, the EU plan puts infrastructure deployment incentives in place but also puts the burden on the industry to harmonize standards without offering much help, reports

The new plan is intended to clear out regulatory barriers across Europe to broadband deployment, making it easier to invest in infrastructure, both locally and nationwide, reports

Each EU member must offer commercial 5G in at least one major city by 2020. Connectivity targets are likely to require roughly US $560 billion of investment over a decade, leaving about a US $174 billion shortfall under current estimates.

That’s why the commission wants to streamline the regulations, especially reducing barriers when rival operators jointly invest in high-speed networks, and paving the way for smaller operators to join in, according to the account. The changes are also meant to incentivize first movers to invest in less profitable locations, like rural areas.

Preliminary trials would begin in 2017, followed by detailed roadmaps and full-blown trials in 2018; a group of operators asked the EU in a “Manifesto” to coordinate the trials however the plan doesn’t mention that, according to The operators also wanted to see harmonized licensing of sub 6GHz, 3.5GHz and higher bands (24 GHz and up) by 2020, however the EU plan doesn’t commit to specific harmonization dates for each band.

The operators also called for dense small cell deployments, with simplified rules, supportive rent charges from local jurisdictions and rights of way for installs.

One operator praised the EU blueprint. GSMA Director General Mats Granryd said the plan reduces some outdated sector-specific regulation and the spectrum reform policy will “help provide the consistency needed to underpin investor confidence.”

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