The European Commission has recently published its 5G Action Plan to boost EU efforts for the deployment of 5G infrastructures and services across the Union. 5G implies millions of connections between people, devices, and things across different vertical sectors who all stand to benefit from the efficiencies that ICT can bring to them. But how, in Europe, can we take this from concept to reality?

The 5G / Gigabit Society should be an inclusive eco-system that enhances the quality of life of all EU citizens, going beyond connectivity to enable efficiencies and enhanced quality to be felt in fields such as media, transport, environment, energy and health. Delivering the 5G experience is inherently linked with the availability of more-than-adequate broadband infrastructure, yet in Europe we still have around 7 million homes who lack Internet connectivity. In order to deliver 5G, governments need to prioritise investments in infrastructure while fostering a system-of-systems that delivers resilient and ubiquitous networks: the path to 5G is lit with promises but also littered with obstacles.

On 8 November 2016, François Fischer from ERTICO attended a debate dinner organised by the European Internet Forum on this topic. The debate was addressing the needs and priorities, infrastructure investments, to deliver the required capabilities of the future 5G networks.

François Fischer reminded the statements made at the Paris Motor Show 2016, during a roundtable debate organised by Frost and Sullivan and IBM, that the five pillars of the digitisation of the automotive industry are:
• Connected Supply Chain
• Industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0
• Connected and Autonomous car
• Digital Retailing and Vehicle Relationship Management
• Mobility as a Service (MaaS)

He confirmed that different use cases shall be considered for the automotive industry each corresponding to a specific set of technical and operational requirements for 5G. In particular interoperability, cross-border service continuity, cyber-security or resilience are critical requirements for many use cases.

The need for significant investment costs, as well as the particular long life cycle of products in the Automotive was pointed out. Therefore François Fischer explained the need to consider a mix of technologies for 5G to match optimally the different use cases.

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