Europe signs 5G development deal with South Korea

Silver "5G" in 3D

The European Commission has signed a 5G research and development deal with South Korea.

The deal will see the two parties work to create a standardised definition for 5G, and collaborate on research into the next-generation network technology.

The pair have also backed calls for a harmonised radio spectrum for 5G, to ensure global interoperability, and have agreed that global standards for the technology need to be established.

5G is being touted as an answer to the mobile capacity crunch, as the number of devices now connecting to the internet continues to grow and puts pressure on our existing network infrastructure.

The Commission claims 5G has the potential to provide the capacities needed to cope with this growing number of devices, and will also be faster.

Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission, said 5G will become the "lifeblood" of the digital economy in the years to come.

"Both Europe and South Korea recognise this. This is the first time ever that public authorities have joined together in this way, with the support of private industry, to push forward the process of standardisation," she said.

"Today's declaration signals our commitment to being global digital leaders."

News of the deal follows the launch the Commission's Public-Private Partnership on 5G in February 2014, which features input from Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Nokia, Orange and SES.

Furthermore, the Commission has also pledged to invest 700 million of public money into the development of 5G communication systems as part of its seven-year Horizon 2020 programme.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.