miércoles, 20 de diciembre de 2017

5G race: There´s no alternative

It looks that the race for the deployment of 5G has started at last in Europe. Since the European Commission published its communication "5G for Europe: An Action Plan" important thinks has happened in the European scenario. The European Ministers has backed the 5G deployment with a Ministerial Declaration and have agreed on 5G roadmap. Furthermore, the European institutions are closer to agree on an overhaul of the EU telecommunication legal framework which is expected to be adopted in the 2018 first semester.

At the national level, things are starting to get moved also. Four of the big five EU countries have taken steps to lead the 5G deployment in Europe. Both Germany and Spain have published a comprehensive 5G plan which included pilot projects backed with public funds, Italy without a clear strategy but have announced 5g pilots in 5 cities and United Kingdom is ahead of the pack with a 5G strategy and some testbeds under development.  The first auctions of the 3,6 GHZ band, critical for a successful 5G deployment, are expected in UK and Spain at the first quarter of 2018.

However there are some doubts in Europe is still on time to compete in the global race to lead 5G. The last 5G market predictions published by Ericsson estimate that Europe will be substantially lagged from Asia and USA in 2023. There are serious fears that Europe could be on a groundhog day and repeating the failures lived with 4G deployment

Because the question is if the telecommunication companies will respond to all the plans and calls for pilots. In spite of the general perception of the 5G benefits which let open the hope to a rapid adoption and monetization of needed investments for its deployment, telecom operators look doubtful to start the preparations for the 5G roll-out. And the doubts are foreseen to increase in 2018 with gloomy predictions of a further squeeze of margins.

However, let's be optimistic. There are none alternatives different to enter the race, so we can expect that Europe operators will not lose another train to the digital future.

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