This blog is by Markus Borchert, Senior Vice President Market Europe, NokiaTwitter: @nokia
No doubt about it, 5G will be the key enabler for Europe's digital transformation across all sectors and thus for the continent’s competitiveness. Digitization and societal transformation need massive capacity and connectivity, beyond the capabilities of the current networks. Networks of the 5th generation will therefore be a fundamental enabler of industry digital transformation. Likewise, the speed of transformation will become a key factor in global competition, with industries competing across regions.
Today we see positive progress with the adoption of the EU 5G manifesto [PDF], showing an industry consensus on a common set of frame conditions to launch 5G services across Europe by 2020.
Fittingly, there is one clearly defined unifying target suggestion: to commercially launch 5G based on the full standard in time for the European football championships in 2020, a symbolic milestone representing Europe’s ambition to drive the 5G connected future.
We, at Nokia, strongly support this initiative and are investing where it matters to make it happen. In fact, we already invest in R&D with thousands of engineers based in Europe who are developing solutions for the next generation telecommunication networks.
The European 5G manifesto is definitely a step in the right direction. But there is a real sense of urgency when we see that Europe is still falling behind in LTE deployment – a pre-requisite to launch 5G services - in comparison to the US, China, Japan and Korea, where 5G is considered as a national priority.
Nokia is already at the forefront - making 5G a commercial reality beyond laboratory prototypes. Following the successful launch of Nokia’s industry-first 5G-ready AirScale Radio Access, trials are now ongoing in local markets, enabling operators to experience 5G firsthand. At the recent 5G World event in London we demonstrated AirScale with its Cloud Packet Core advancements and end-to-end network slicing tailored to the diverse needs of different industries. This is what will form the foundation of a commercially viable 5G architecture.
So, where should Europe look next? Firstly, we need to close the connectivity gap. Simply put: For the Internet of Things to become a reality, we need an internet to connect to. Everywhere. Secondly, we need to explore all the industry verticals that will benefit from 5G and create use case prototypes to become commercial once 5G is available. E-health, for instance is one of the fastest growing IoT markets. Nokia has recently started working on the world’s first 5G hospital in Finland and plans to accelerate its entry into Digital Health, with the recent acquisition of Withings. On the automotive front, we have showcased the first 5G project at the digital A9 motorway test bed in Germany with our partners Deutsche Telekom, Continental and Fraunhofer ESK. Here, we were able to demonstrate how ultra-low latency mobile edge computing can improve safety and traffic control.
So, let’s go Europe! The time to SCALE and and pick up speed is now.
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Read the press release on Markus Borchert’s election to President of DIGITALEUROPE here.
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