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Euro 5G consortium releases roadmap with no direction

Road 5G Open

The 5G Infrastructure Association (5G-IA) has unveiled its ‘European 5G Pan-European Trials Roadmap’ which is unencumbered by specific details on milestones or timeframes.

In typical nonsensical fashion, which we have unfortunately become used to with many of these industry bodies, the grand plan has been set forward with little commitment to measure progress. It is the same with governments and PPPs around the world as well as the builder who puts up your conservatory; timeframes are the enemy, they’ll figure out if you’re behind schedule if you are too specific.

The Roadmap follows up another couple of European-wide initiatives from the European Commission, everyone’s favourite collection of boresome bureaucrats, such as ‘5G Manifesto for timely deployment of 5G in Europe’ and ‘5G Action Plan’. One has to question how many more initiatives, roadmaps, blueprints, agendas or projections the industry actually needs from organizations who seem to be justifying their place in the world through the creation of such repetitive announcements.

That said, the main objectives of the Roadmap are to:

  • Support global European leadership in 5G technology, 5G networks deployment and profitable 5G business
  • Validate benefits of 5G to vertical sectors, public sector, businesses and consumers
  • Initiate a clear path to successful and timely 5G deployment
  • Expand commercial trials and demonstrations as well as national initiatives

The document also outlines the four main pillars of the Roadmap (1) 5G Private Trials, (2) 5G Vertical Pilots, (3) 5G for UEFA EURO 2020 and (4) 5G Trials Cities. These would appear to be what the 5G-IA deems milestones in the roadmap, though there are no dates associated with these landmarks.

Accountability isn’t the problem here, 5G-IA can’t be blamed if Europe falls further behind the rest of the telco and tech world, but urgency is the issue. The only solid date which we were able to find in the document which created any urgency was the 2.0 version of the roadmap, which is to be delivered at some point before the end of 2017. There seems to be a laid-back attitude to the development of 5G.

According to 5G-IA a ‘coordinated Pan-European approach to trials is essential for a timely and effective deployment of 5G in Europe’, though the lack of certainty in the document is quite astounding. Perhaps this is supposed to be a teaser ahead of the 2.0 version which will detail all the specific milestones. Like a trailer for a Hollywood movie, those crafty buggers at the 5G-IA are just trying to keep us on the edge of our seats.

Or that should be the hope, otherwise the 5G-IA might just prove to be a complete waste of time, space and body odour.

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