EU telcos unveil 5G manifesto

08 July 2016 |

Europe's leading telcos have presented a 5G manifesto aimed at developing and deploying the technology across the region

The 17 operators which include BT, Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia and Vodafone, pledged to launch 5G in at least one city in every EU country by 2020. The endorsement of the so-called manifesto is said to be a response to the European Commission’s call for a 5G action plan earlier at Mobile World Congress 2016. 

“I very much welcome the 5G Manifesto and discussions today with the high-level industry group,” said European Commission for the Digital Economy and Society Gunther Oettinger. “These will help us focus on the key levers to ensure European digital leadership in 5G. I will come forward with a 5G Action Plan in the autumn.” 

In the report the operators claim that launching 5G in every EU by 2020 will not be possible if net neutrality rules are not relaxed by the Commission. The present rules prevent paid prioritisation of web traffic, unfair blocking and connection speed throttling.

"The current net neutrality guidelines create significant uncertainties around 5G return on investment," said the manifesto. "Investments are therefore likely to be delayed unless regulators take a positive stance on innovation and stick to it."

The report also called for a level playing field to be created between OTT communication services like Skype and WhatsApp and operators.