Kroes wants to deliver 5G to Europe by 2020 and is asking member countries to get their act together regarding wireless spectrum.
She says Europe must take the lead in tomorrow’s technology even as the continent concentrates on rolling out today’s networks.
“Rolling out today’s networks is important. But what comes after? For the next global standard, and the next generation of technology, will Europe lead the world, or merely follow?” she said.
Kroes adds that the $65 million will go towards research of more spectrally efficient and more power efficient mobile broadband than 4G, and more importantly give Europe the leading role in 5G as it played in 2G and 3G.
The public private partnership will involve some of the continent’s big data carriers, including companies from Germany, Italy, Portugal and France as well as infrastructure players, namely Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and NSN.
“Europe used to lead the world on wireless. European 5G is an unmissable opportunity to recapture the global technological lead,” Kroes said.
Even as Europe begins focus on 5G, a number of nations are still far behind, with some still relying on 3G and only 10 out of 27 EU states having rolled out 4G.
The race for 4G is however not going to be easy with Asia, which is leading in 4G in countries like South Korea, expected to be in the race.
In other developing countries and especially within Africa, 5G remains a far-fetched vision with not a single country having deployed 4G spectrum, although pilot works are ongoing in a number of countries.
In Europe, 5G is a much-needed ego booster that the continent hopes can result in higher status, with the continent having fallen behind in 4G rollout as well as manufacture of 4G devices with the market in the hands of North America and Asia.