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