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Nordics team up to storm the 5G world

Strong Viking on his ship

All five of nations in the Nordic region have signed a Letter of Intent, favouring regional collaboration to launch a leadership bid in the 5G rankings.

The letter itself was signed in Örnsköldsvik in Sweden at the annual two-day meeting of the regional leaders, with each Prime Minister committed to the collaborative dream. It’s an approach which hasn’t really been seen elsewhere, passive aggressive comments seem to be the speciality for 5G, but considering the relatively small size of the economies and populations in the five countries, pooling resources and objectives does seem like a sensible move.

The prime minister signatories are: Stefan Löfven (Sweden), Erna Solberg (Norway), Lars Løkke Rasmussen (Denmark), Juha Sipilä (Finland), Katrín Jakobsdóttir (Iceland).

Nordic Prime Ministers

“The deployment of 5G will require substantial investments as well as the appropriate regulatory framework,” the letter reads. “At political level, we commit to creating the conditions in the public sector for digitalisation and 5G to flourish. As Nordic prime ministers, we have agreed to the common vision of being the first and most integrated 5G region in the world. We want to create a common Nordic 5G space.”

The letter itself agrees to set up a common action plan addressing the development of testing facilities and test beds, technical coordination of 5G frequency bands within the region and the removal of obstacles to expansion of the 5G network, in particular deployment of base stations and antennas. More specifically, transport, mission critical communications, smart manufacturing, energy and agriculture are the targeted segments.

As you would imagine, there has been a rousing welcome from vendors and operators, signing their own letter in response:

“As CEOs of the leading Nordic telecommunication companies, we welcome the letter of intent on 5G development signed today by the leaders of Nordic countries. A vision for a common Nordic 5G space agreed today confirms our region’s ambition to remain a leading digitalized and innovation region to the benefit of our societies. The challenge ahead is to make this vision a practical reality.”

As an idea, it is certainly a sound one. Getting 5G right is certainly going to be a costly investment and achieving economies of scale will be critical to ensure an effective experience. However, balancing the needs of the individual countries against the greater good of the region will be a tricky task. Sacrifices will have to be made, and could be the deciding factor as to whether this nice idea becomes a reality.

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