Posted: June 1, 2015

On the occasion of the EU-Japan summit, taking place today in Tokyo, both parties have announced a milestone agreement in the global race to develop 5G mobile technology. The EU and Japan have agreed to join forces to cope with the increasing need for wireless Internet. 5G represents the way we will connect in the future, it won’t just be faster, it will bring totally new functionalities and applications for the benefits of our economies and societies.

The joint declaration was signed by Sanae Takaichi, Japanese Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications, and by Günther H. Oettinger, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society.

is the second cooperation agreement on 5G that the EU signs with a third country, a year after a joint declaration with South Korea. The Commission is working towards closer cooperation with other countries, including China. Such international agreements strengthen the position of the EU on the global stage and complement current efforts to create a Digital Single Market in Europe. By breaking down barriers and creating the right environment for innovative industries to develop, the EU will become an even more attractive and dynamic continent.

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What is in the agreement?

The EU and Japan will strengthen cooperation on:

  • A global definition of 5G. Both parties will strive to reach a common understanding on the broad definition, the key functionalities and a target time table for 5G, with the aim of conducting a first review of joint progress by the end of 2015. The EU unveiled its 5G blueprint in March 2015.
  • Global standards for 5G. The EU and Japan will work together to develop common standards.
  • Identifying which radio frequency bands can be harmonised globally to meet additional spectrum requirements for 5G. They will work closely on this in the framework of the International Telecommunication Union and the World Radio Conference.
  • Future 5G applications and ecosystems in areas like connected cars, e-health or high-quality video content distribution.

The EU and Japan will also invest €12 million during the next two years in 5G-related projects. These projects will help develop the Internet of Things, Cloud or Big Data platforms. 5G equipment and networks are likely to become available to the public in 2020. Japan aims to deploy 5G networks in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

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