Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Alfred Sant (S&D)

Subject: 5G for all European citizens

As the Mobile World Congress just opened and one year after the Commission white paper on 5G,the EU is still far from having achieved the next generation of broadband networks.
Digital technologies in general account for an estimated 21% of GDP growth in the world’s most advanced economies and it is estimated to continue to grow exponentially. As Europe is facing the need for growth, it is vital to take account that productivity, jobs and innovation arise from the adoption of digital technologies. If 3G has been a success, mistakes have been made during the adoption of 4G so that companies and consumers could not immediately benefit from the new technology.

– What has the Commission secured to ensure that the 5G framework will not be facing similar implementation issues?
In contrast with other regions, where the development of networks is consumer-oriented, European efforts appear to be focused on machines-to-machines and industries-to-industries channels of
communication.

– As 5G will enable to connect multiple devices and sensors and as this technology is expected to transform our homes, cities and industries, how is the Commission warranting that European
consumers will concurrently benefit from it?

Answer given by Vice-President Ansip on behalf of the Commission
The Commission has recognised the crucial role that 5G networks can play to foster the digital economy. The 5G Action Plan(1) adopted in 2016 sets a framework for actions from the Commission and other stakeholders to ensure EU leadership in 5G deployments at the end of the decade, both from the perspective of manufacturer and service industries and for the benefit of citizens and businesses.

Beyond fostering the 5G technology development through the 5G PPP, the Commission is addressing the implementation issues identified in the 5G Action Plan, notably by proposing the alignment of national roadmaps for a coordinated 5G deployment across all EU Member states, working to ensure the availability of spectrum bands for 5G as quickly as possible, promoting early deployment in major urban areas and along major transport paths, addressing global standards and promoting innovation and ecosystems.

In addition, the proposed new European Electronic Communication Code(2) will support the deployment and take-up of advanced network technologies such as 5G, notably by providing for timely availability and assignment of radio spectrum and more favourable conditions for small cell deployment.

The 5G networks can offer faster broadband, massive connectivity and low latency services both for EU consumers, and for many sectors, notably connected cars and health services, as well as digitised industry. The EU supports a comprehensive 5G standards offering all the services whereas some regions like USA and Korea tend to focus on short term solutions offering mainly faster broadband.

The EU priority is for consumers, the main market in the next years, while ensuring longer term 5G features for vertical markets and industry digitalisation.

(1) https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/5g-europe-action-plan
(2) https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/connectivity-european-gigabit-society

Maltese Version

Suġġett: 5G għaċ-ċittadini Ewropej kollha

Sena wara l-pubblikazzjoni tal-White Paper tal-Kummissjoni dwar il-5G, u ftit ġimgħat wara l-konklużjoni tal-Kungress Dinji dwar it-Telefonija Mobbli tal-2017, l-UE għadha ‘l bogħod milli tilħaq il-ġenerazzjoni li jmiss ta’ netwerks tal-broadband.

B’mod ġenerali, it-teknoloġiji diġitali jammontaw għal madwar 21 % tat-tkabbir tal-PDG fl-aktar ekonomiji avvanzati tad-dinja, u huma mistennija jkomplu jikbru b’mod esponenzjali. Hekk kif l-UE qed tiffaċċja l-ħtieġa għat-tkabbir, huwa importanti li jitqies il-fatt li l-produttività, l-impjiegi u l-innovazzjoni jirriżultaw mill-adozzjoni ta’ teknoloġiji diġitali.

Filwaqt li t-3G kien suċċess, saru żbalji fl-adozzjoni tal-4G, bir-riżultat li l-kumpaniji u l-konsumaturi ma setgħux jibbenefikaw immedjatament mit-teknoloġija l-ġdida.

— X’għamlet il-Kummissjoni biex tiżgura li l-qafas tal-5G ma jiffaċċjax kwistjonijiet simili ta’ implimentazzjoni?

B’kuntrast ma’ reġjuni oħra, fejn l-iżvilupp tan-netwerks huwa orjentat lejn il-konsumatur, l-isforzi tal-UE jidhru li huma ffukati fuq mezzi ta’ komunikazzjoni bejn magna u oħra u bejn industrija u oħra.

— Peress li l-5G se jippermetti konnessjonijiet ta’ diversi apparati u sensuri, u peress li din it-teknoloġija hija mistennija li tittrasforma d-djar, il-bliet u l-industriji tagħna, il-Kummissjoni x’qed tagħmel biex tiżgura li l-konsumaturi Ewropej jibbenefikaw minnha fl-istess ħin li tkun għaddejja d-diġitalizzazzjoni tal-industrija?

Tweġiba mogħtija mill-Viċi President Ansip f’isem il-Kummissjoni
Il-Kummissjoni għarfet ir-rwol kruċjali li n-netwerks tal-5G jista’ jkollhom sabiex titrawwem l-ekonomija diġitali. Il-Pjan ta’ Azzjoni għall-5G(1) adottat fl-2016, jistabbilixxi qafas għal azzjonijiet mill-Kummissjoni u partijiet ikkonċernati oħra sabiex jiġi żgurat li l-UE jkollha rwol fit-tmexxija tal-introduzzjonijiet tal-5G fl-aħħar tad-deċennju, kemm mill-perspettiva tal-manifattur u l-industriji tas-servizz, kif ukoll għall-benefiċċju taċ-ċittadini u n-negozji.

Minbarra t-trawwim tal-iżvilupp tat-teknoloġija tal-5G permezz tal-5G PPP, il-Kummissjoni qed tindirizza l-kwistjonijiet ta’ implimentazzjoni identifikati fil-Pjan ta’ Azzjoni għall-5G, b’mod partikolari billi tipproponi l-allinjament tal-pjanijiet direzzjonali għall-introduzzjoni koordinata tal-5G fl-Istati Membri kollha tal-UE, billi taħdem biex malajr kemm jista’ jkun tiżgura d-disponibilità tal-baned tal-ispettru għall-5G, billi tippromwovi l-iżvilupp bikri f’żoni urbani ewlenin u tul ir-rotot ewlenin tat-trasport, billi tindirizza l-istandards globali u billi tippromwovi l-innovazzjoni u l-ekosistemi.

Barra minn hekk, il-Kodiċi Ewropew tal-Komunikazzjoni Elettronika(2) l-ġdid, se jappoġġa l-introduzzjoni u l-adozzjoni ta’ teknoloġiji tan-netwerks avvanzati bħall-5G, b’mod partikolari billi jipprevedi disponibilità f’waqtha u l-assenjazzjoni tal-ispettru tar-radju, u iktar kundizzjonijiet favorevoli għall-introduzzjoni taċ-ċelloli żgħar.

In-netwerks tal-5G jistgħu joffru banda wiesgħa aktar rapida, konnettività massiva u servizzi ta’ latenza baxxa għall-konsumaturi tal-UE, u għal ħafna iktar setturi, b’mod partikolari l-karozzi konnessi u s-servizzi tas-saħħa, kif ukoll l-industrija diġitalizzata. L-UE tappoġġa l-istandards komprensivi tal-5G li joffru s-servizzi kollha, filwaqt li xi reġjuni bħall-Istati Uniti u l-Korea għandhom it-tendenza li jiffokaw fuq soluzzjonijiet għal perjodu qasir ta’ żmien li prinċipalment joffru banda wiesgħa aktar rapida. Il-prijorità tal-UE hija l-konsumaturi, is-suq ewlieni fis-snin li ġejjin, filwaqt li tiżgura karatteristiċi tal-5G fuq medda itwal ta’ żmien għas-swieq vertikali u d-diġitalizzazzjoni tal-industrija.

(1) https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/5g-europe-action-plan
(2) https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/connectivity-european-gigabit-society