EU hopes €3.5B splurge on search for elusive 5G will help solve youth unemployment

As new 4G phones appear at Mobile World Congress, Neelie Kroes is concerned with how young people will earn the money to buy what comes next

Neelie Kroes (center), Hossein Moiin (second from right) and Marcus Weldon (right) discussing the 5G Infrastructure PPP at Mobile World Congress

Neelie Kroes (center), Hossein Moiin (second from right) and Marcus Weldon (right) discussing the 5G Infrastructure PPP at Mobile World Congress

The European Commission and the European telecommunications industry are about to spend €3.5 billion (US$4.8 billion) to develop the fifth generation of mobile telecommunications.

Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission, sees 5G as a potential cure for youth unemployment, which has reached 70 percent in some areas of the European Union. It's also going to be key for e-health services and the automotive industry, she said at a news conference in Barcelona Monday.

One challenge: just what is it that the industry is planning to develop?

"I have no idea what 5G is," began Hossein Moiin, CTO of Nokia Solutions and Networks, one of the five founding companies behind the 5G Infrastructure Public-Private Partnership. But that's not a concern, as the massive investment will fund a project to define it, Moiin said at the event at Mobile World Congress.

Marcus Weldon, president of Alcatel-Lucent's research arm Bell Labs, offered eight characteristics that 5G networks should have. They should be dynamically configured, dynamically scalable, and distributed not centralized, he said. And rather making a best effort at delivering all traffic, they should offer best efforts only for traffic that needs it.

Where the first four generations of mobile networks were distinguished, at least when introduced, by the frequencies in which they operated, 5G networks should operate in any spectrum -- high frequencies or low, licensed or unlicensed, shared or dedicated, he said.

The next characteristic -- that they should not be limited to just one type of waveform -- suggests he views the fifth generation as something of a mish-mash, rather than a pure standard.

He concluded by saying that 5G networks should be people-centric and should harvest energy from their environment in order to operate.

Kroes hailed the public-private partnership's event as the most important at Mobile World Congress.

Her biggest worry, she said, is youth unemployment. European telecommunications businesses have great opportunities to create more jobs across the continent, but need "need to get back in the driver's seat," she said, referring to the way European companies were largely behind the development of standards for the second generation of mobile networks, GSM, and the third, UMTS.

The Commission is investing €700 million to kick-start the 5G research project, part of a broader 10-year initiative to bolster competitiveness of European industry.

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags telecommunicationeuropean commissiongovernment

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?