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September 28, 2016updated 13 Jan 2017 12:03pm

Could 5G bring €141 billion to the EU by 2025?

Telecoms operators are asking for lighter touch regulation in exchange for 5G investment.

By Alexander Sword

5G could help generate €113.1 billion a year by 2025 if deployed in Europe, a new study says.

The European Commission-supported study found that the trickle-down impacts of 5G would be as high as €141 billion.

The study claimed that 5G would create 2.3 million jobs in member states.

The automotive industry would be the biggest beneficiary, with strategic benefits of €13.8 billion, while transport would gain benefits of €5.1 billion. Healthcare and utilities would gain benefits of €1.1 billion and €775 million respectively, according to the study.


Healthcare is expected to be impacted by 5G.


These benefits came at a price; the study found that in EU28 Member States the total cost of 5G deployment would be approximately €56 billion by 2020.

The main capabilities of 5G that the study found included truly ubiquitous coverage of 50Mbps broadband, as well as support for IoT networks.

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The 5G is intended to provide the backbone network for IoT devices.


It also said that an ‘ultra-tactile internet’, defined by the ITU as having “extremely low latency in combination with high availability, reliability and security”, will enable real-time interactions between humans and devices.

If policymakers and industry stakeholders are united on the benefits of deploying 5G, the method and conditions of deployment is more contentious.

Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT, which amongst other telcos is lobbying for simplification of regulations.

Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT, which amongst other telcos is asking for simpler regulation.

The CEOs of major national telecoms operators including BT, Telefonica and Orange have lobbied the EU to ask for regulation to be “simplified” to encourage investment and for reform of spectrum rules.

Particular attention is focused on the e-Privacy Directive, which governs the use of internet cookies and spam. This does not apply to over-the-top communications providers such as WhatsApp.

Previously, in documents seen by the Financial Times and signed by 17 telecoms groups, including BT, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telecom Italia, promised to bring 5G access to at least one city in every EU country by 2020 in exchange for lighter touch regulation.

The study was prepared for the European Commission by InterDigital Europe, Real Wireless, Tech4i2 and CONNECT (Trinity College Dublin).

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