EU preparing list of 5G cities for 2020 launch

Thursday 23 November 2017 | 10:30 CET | News

The EU's 5G Infrastructure Association has released a new version of its roadmap for 5G trials, at the latest 5G Global Event being held in Seoul. The 5G-PPP Trials Roadmap Version 2.0 outlines expectations for the first private trials by operators and businesses in 2018-19, ahead of an expected launch of the first 5G services in 2020. The European Commission targets 5G services in at least one city of each of the 28 member states in 2020, with a focus on demonstrations in the cities hosting the Euro 2020 football tournament. 

The Commission is working with member states on the 5G Action Plan and aims to designate the first trial cities by the end of 2018. Member states are already starting pilot projects and proposing cities such as Berlin, Stockholm and Barcelona. The aim is to ensure 5G is rolled out across the entire EU at an early stage, and avoid the fragmentation seen with 4G due to differences in spectrum releases and roll-out plans. 

Test networks are already being deployed in some countries, such as Italy, which is using spectrum in the 3.4-3.8 GHz band. The Euro 2020 tournament is expected to mark the big launch of 5G in Europe, similar to plans to demonstrate early forms of the technology at the Olympics in Korea and World Cup in Russia next year. The 5G-PPP proposes using Euro 2020 cities to highlight 5G applications such as VR and AR in the fan zones, smart city services such as security networks around the stadiums and self-driving vehicles on local transport. 

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