These days, it seems like the news is dominated by how chunks of the European Union (EU) are flying off. With Brexit now looking like a sure thing and word emerging that some other oddly-named departures may be in the works, the EU's connection might seem tenuous. However, on the next generation communications front, the region is quite unified, and will be working accordingly to make the arrival of 5G connectivity smoother and easier to work with.
The reports suggest that the EU will be bringing access to new technology and spectra in a bid to augment current connectivity and open up the floor for further connectivity later, with the arrival of 5G systems. Starting in 2020, mobile operators in the EU will have access to the 700 MHz band, which will offer both access to high speeds and the broadest coverage range. This is said to also have a positive effect on “digital divide” operations, bringing more connectivity to otherwise unserved or even underserved areas like rural locations.
With the base laid, it becomes easier to set up the system more thoroughly; the complete solution allows for such things as Wi-Fi as an integrated technology, offering Wi-Fi services just like fixed or even cellular service and thus improving options available.
Malta's minister of competitiveness and the digital, maritime and services economy Dr. Emmanuel Mallia commented, “Opening the 700 MHz band for mobile internet helps ensure top-quality connectivity throughout Europe and can really transform many people’s lives – let’s think for example of the use of telemedicine in remote areas. It also represents a major step in the industrial shift to 5G, which is essential for the future competitiveness of the EU.”
This is great news for the region, assuming there actually is an EU to talk about by 2020, which isn't the foregone conclusion it once was. By laying the groundwork now for better connectivity, it will make the actual arrival of 5G and the like that much easier to set up. By establishing principles that will make it easier to patch in the countryside, that improves the total number of users and increases the available pool of users for online services, as well as generators of online content.
While the EU itself may be in something of a political upheaval right now, it's good to see that it's making the necessary moves to set up connectivity before then. It's possible that the EU may completely disintegrate before next generation communications tools like 5G access arrive, but before it goes, it will at least have done that much well.
Edited by Alicia Young