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EU and China sign "milestone agreement" for the development of 5G

5G is coming, as you’re doubtless aware, and indeed it’s expected to arrive by the end of the decade, with another step being taken towards its realisation via a partnership between the EU and China.

In what’s being called a “milestone agreement” in the race to 5G, Europe and China will cooperate to strengthen the understanding, research and development of 5G networks.

The idea is that the declaration (spotted by C-Net) will see an understanding of the basic concepts and functionality of 5G developed by the end of this year, and also most importantly a time plan for its implementation.

The partnership will bring forth global standardisation for 5G, which is obviously crucial, and it will promote joint research projects between the EU and China.

Furthermore, the optimal sections of the spectrum will be identified for 5G usage, and cooperative research will take place in terms of 5G services, particularly those related to the Internet of Things.

This agreement follows similar declarations the European Commission has made in recent times with South Korea and Japan.

5G is not just about raw speed – although obviously that’s an important factor – but it’s also about coping with the sheer volume of traffic we will soon have to deal with. Indeed, the prediction is that come 2020 there will be 30 times as much mobile internet traffic than there was in 2010.

Commissioner Günther Oettinger commented: "5G will be the backbone of our digital economies and societies worldwide. This is why we strongly support and seek a global consensus and cooperation on 5G. With today's signature with China, the EU has now teamed up with the most important Asian partners in a global race to make 5G a reality by 2020. It's a crucial step in making 5G a success."

As to whether 5G will actually be a commercial reality by 2020, well, we shall have to see…