EU partners with Japan to push 5G development

The European Union is partnering with Japan to research and develop interoperable 5G technologies, seen as the backbone of the future digital economy.

The EU used to lead the world in wireless technologies back when 3G was the cool new kid on the block. However, the Union fell behind when it came to 4G, and it’s still struggling today to catch up to its competitors like the US, Japan and South Korea. However, the 28-nation bloc is determined to avoid the same mistake and is heavily investing in 5G technologies.

This partnership with Japan, aimed at developing the future standards needed to deliver mobile internet to everything from smartphones to connected cars to government services, is just the latest in a long line of investments that the EU has put forth towards 5G. Previous partnerships include ones with South Korea, bilateral talks with other countries, and an agreement between the EU and various companies interesting in developing this technology.

Perhaps the most important aspect of this partnership is Europe’s desire to standardize the technologies as much as possible and push for global agreements on 5G spectrum allotment. If things turn out the way the EU wants, users will never have to worry about which devices support which bands and which carriers, a major improvement over the way things are currently.

5G is expected to become commercially available around 2020, but researchers and companies are already testing it out in the field. Hopefully, some of those awesome speeds will soon be available on our own devices.

EU flag image courtesy of Shutterstock

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