09 Aug 2017

MINISTERIAL DECLARATION - Making 5G a success for Europe

MINISTERIAL DECLARATION - Making 5G a success for Europe

We share a common vision for a fully connected society and the path towards the Gigabit Society. 5G will enable the delivery of a diverse set of applications beyond the focus of the traditional mobile broadband market.

Today we confirm our willingness to position Europe as the global lead market for 5G and to establish the necessary policy and regulatory framework conditions at regional, national, and European level that are clear, predictable, future-looking and facilitate investment within a competitive market.

5G is a critical element in order to be able to leverage digitalisation and ensure that consumers and businesses can benefit across all industry sectors in Europe, which is at the same time essential for maintaining and enhancing Europe’s competitiveness.

We endeavour to undertake the following steps to reach these goals:

1. Make more spectrum available in a timely and predictable manner: The availability of radio spectrum is a pre-condition to build up public and private networks for 5G services which can both develop and respond to market demand. Member States are committed to undertake together all required efforts in order to make available appropriate and sufficient radio spectrum in a timely way and leverage the full potential of 5G. This may require solving remaining cross-border frequency coordination issues both within the Union and with third countries. In Europe, there is agreement on a number of radio spectrum bands for the introduction of 5G1 . Market players should be able to rely on clear roadmaps for the timely availability of key bands throughout the Union and a predictable legal framework for the granting and renewal of spectrum usage rights. Member States will take every effort to make spectrum available, including authorisations at the local level.

2. Encourage front-runners and supporting peer learning and increased transparency: We know from experience that early movers may have a positive effect on other Member States and Europe as a whole. In order to strengthen this process and promote consistent deployment, an intensive exchange of experiences should be facilitated without slowing down national formal proceedings. Cooperation in this area in particular regarding initiatives to reinforce the RSPG should be enhanced.

3. Strengthen basic principles of sound spectrum management: The main pillar of effective radio spectrum management is non-discriminatory access to radio spectrum. Within a stable and predictable European framework Member States will ensure that radio spectrum is made available based on administrative procedures that are predictable, open, transparent and non-discriminatory.

4. Coverage and connectivity: Comprehensive mobile connectivity of a high standard must be ensured throughout the entire European Union. Recognizing the importance of pursuing the common connectivity goal, Member States will, as a first step, promote early deployment of 5G in major urban areas and along major transport paths.

5. Preserve 5G global interoperability: Standards are of paramount importance to ensure the competitiveness and interoperability of global telecommunication networks. We therefore endorse, a comprehensive and inclusive approach to 5G standardisation as a priority for the Digital Single Market. We promote cross-industry partnerships to support the timely definition of standards backed by industrial user experiments, including through the leveraging of international cooperation partnerships, in particular for the digitisation of industry. Encouraging innovation and development of products and services making use of 5G networks across the EU should be a priority.

6. Facilitate the deployment of optical fibre: To realise the full potential of 5G networks, it is essential to ensure the deployment of optical fibre, for example for connecting base stations. To this end, it is necessary to ensure efficient access to infrastructure.

7. Support small cell implementation: A comprehensive use of 5G requires densification in terms of base stations, and this should happen across the different radio spectrum ranges. This means that public assets such as street furniture and private objects need to be used to an increasing extent. Taking this into consideration, administrative procedures, charging models and emission requirements shall be designed to ensure fast and sustainable deployment of small cells.

8. Set up a strategic dialogue: It is important that Member States exchange experiences at a high level and discuss all issues related to the fostering of wireless applications throughout the Union. This includes, assignment models and key conditions, support schemes, time schedules and technological innovations, and actions to promote early deployments of 5G services in key sectors, such as transport, energy, health, agriculture, industry, smart city and public safety. Such a dialogue could extend to technology developers, equipment providers, communications operators, the various beneficiary economic sectors (including the contents and services sectors) and public services, and consumers/civil society.

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