• Telecoms

    EU and the 700 MHz: Open up that band now

    If we do not open up this band in Europe as soon as possible we will not be able to get the benefits from 5G. Europe lagged and lag behind regarding 4G but took the lead of 3G. Now we need to take back the lead. One of the most usual and most misused [read more]
    byGunnar Hökmark | 20/Apr/20165 min read
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    If we do not open up this band in Europe as soon as possible we will not be able to get the benefits from 5G. Europe lagged and lag behind regarding 4G but took the lead of 3G. Now we need to take back the lead.

    One of the most usual and most misused phrasings is that we are living in changing times. Times are always changing. New technologies, new products, new services, new threats and new achievements. The really big change would be if the change stopped.
     
    Sometimes changing times is used in a way to create fascination towards the development, making us believe that now we need to do something that is so extraordinary that we need to think at least twice instead of acting now, or instead of letting the society as such adopt to the change.
     
    But for our decision taking it is better to say that the change has already taken place. Now it is only a matter of if we want to catch up with it. This is very much the reality of the digital economy and the digital agenda. The changes has already taken place and now it is up to us if we are to adopt to them in a way that they will serve us, give us a competitive lead and global leaders. The reality is here, we don’t need to think about the changes as magic or mysterious future developments.
     
    Regarding telecom and digitalisation, it is already here. We do not only have a digital sector and a digital economy. Our societies and economies are based on the digital technologies and services that have emerged for decades.
     
    3G was modernisation of telecom. 4G was creating digital services out of telecom. 5G is the full modernisation, industrialisation and transformation of economies and societies in the world. And it is not futuristic. It is happening now in the timeline that is relevant for us.
     
    In 2017 Verizon tells us they will be the first in the world. It might be more of 4,5 G but still. South Korea plans to roll it out as early as 2017 as well, with full availability 2020.
    In China they will have 500 million users of 4G by the end of this year and their plans for 5G is following the pattern of the others. In Stockholm and in Tallinn we will se early launches aiming for full scale 2020. It is not more fare away than it is happening now and it will transform economies.
     
    We lagged and lag behind regarding 4G but took the lead of 3G. That’s why we got the global champions in the telecom sector and the Americans in the next phase in the digital sector. Now we need to take back the lead.
     
    This is what the discussion on the 700MHz band is about. If we do not open up this band in Europe as soon as possible we will not be able to get the benefits from 5G regarding automotive industry, road and traffic management, manufacturing industries, energy and power sector, agriculture or health care. We need the coverage and the reach of the 700 MHz band if we are to be successful with 5G in these and other areas. That’s the decision we need to take. If we want to take the lead. That should be an easy decision.

     

    Picture credit: phys.org
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