EU and China Sign a Partnership on 5G
The EU and China have signed an agreement in the race to develop 5G networks. The accord was announced at the EU-China High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue in Beijing last week.
Under the agreement, the EU and China will strengthen cooperation to reach a global understanding, by the end of 2015, on the concept, functionalities, technologies, and time plans for 5G. The agreement also calls for joint research and promotion of global standards for 5G.
Both parties also committed to reciprocity and openness in terms of access to 5G networks research funding, market access as well as in membership of Chinese and EU 5G associations.
5G represents the next generation of communication systems and is envisioned as a converged network environment in which wired and wireless communications will use the same infrastructure and will provide ubiquitous, ultra-high bandwidth connectivity to individual users and to connected objects.
“5G will be the backbone of our digital economies and societies worldwide,” said Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner in charge of the Digital Economy and Society. “This is why we strongly support and seek a global consensus and cooperation on 5G. With today’s signature with China, the EU has now teamed up with the most important Asian partners in a global race to make 5G a reality by 2020.”
This joint declaration builds on similar agreements with South Korea and Japan signed with the commission in recent months.
The European Commission is investing $790 million through the Horizon 2020 program to support research and innovation in 5G. EU industry is set to match this investment by up to five times, to $3.4 billion.
China is likely to be a major player in the development of 5G and also potentially the world’s largest market for 5G technologies, products and services. The country will also have a substantial role in establishing a 5G global standard.
Under the agreement, EU companies are likely to have easier access to the Chinese market. European companies will be able to access and participate in China’s publicly funded 5G research, development and innovation initiatives on the same terms as Chinese companies currently participate in the EU’s 5G activities.