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EU telecom ministers reach agreement on 5G roadmap

Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo (SDE).
Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo (SDE). Source: (EU)

EU telecommunications ministers on Monday agreed on a joint roadmap for the development of 5G networks, which constitutes a common understanding on the harmonization of 5G spectrum bands and their allocation to telecommunications operators.

These 5G networks will allow people and devices to communicate with more data and less delay in the future, according to a Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications press release.

"At the beginning of the Estonian presidency [of the Council of the EU] in July, we signed a 5G declaration together with all European telecommunications ministers," said Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo (SDE). "This allowed us to lay the foundation for the development of the 5G networks and the creation of investment security for companies in Europe. Today we passed the next important stage — in order to fulfill our goals at both national and European levels, we agreed on a detailed action plan."

According to Palo, the 5G roadmap lays out major activities and their timeframe. "With the roadmap, we agreed on plans for harmonizing the technical use and purpose of the 5G spectrum and the allocation to telecommunications operators," she explained. "It is no secret that a digital Europe is a priority for th Estonian presidency, however a digital society cannot be created without 5G networks. By the year 2025, we want to see the presence of 5G connectivity in large cities and along major transport routes of every European country. These 5G networks are needed both for citizens and devices that require reliable and high-speed internet access to cope with increasingly large quantities of data."

The 5th generation mobile network, or 5G, is the technology needed in the near future and one that supports global digitalization, according to the ministry. 5G is essential to ensuring communication in the future, with billions of devices online needing to be connected at all times and regardless of location. 5G technology will be able to provide users with higher data volumes and guaranteed quality connections.

Palo also briefed her colleagues on the progress made on the European Electronic Communications Code. She encouraged her colleagues to contribute swiftly and develop a Council position on two proposals made by the European Parliament concerning intra-EU calls and the development of national reverse-112 systems.

"I ask all of you to give serious thought to these proposals," the Estonian minister told her colleagues. "They both address serious concerns for our citizens."

The next trilogue is to take place this Wednesday, and will focus primarily on provisions of the code related to Spectrum and 5G.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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