Monday, 11 July 2016 03:01

European 5G manifesto warns of danger with ‘net neutrality’ rules Featured

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The EU has released its thoughts on 5G networks and how European players can become 5G leaders, in the "5G Manifesto presented by key players in the telco industry".

The EU has welcomed a report into 5G, with the manifesto making it clear that Europeans don’t think terribly much of the US FCC rules around net neutrality.

The EU website on 5G has plenty of new information all of a sudden, now that a new 5G manifesto (PDF link) has been made available to the public.

The 5G manifesto "outlines the main opportunities and challenges linked to the deployment of 5G infrastructure in Europe. In particular, it provides recommendations for a common vision and a calendar for deployment of investments, standards and the synchronised introduction of services in Europe. It underlines the need for spectrum and improved regulatory conditions in terms of local installation of cells, open Internet rules which promote innovation, data protection and fair use".

On pages 5 and 6 of the detailed seven-page manifesto, we see concerns from the EU that “Shaping of other ICT regulations that otherwise risk creating barriers to 5G services: Policies and rules must be future-oriented, pro-investment and pro-innovation".

“All players in the digital value chain should operate on a level playing field, with equivalent and proportionate privacy requirements to innovate in data-driven markets. There is no justification for imposing stricter obligations on electronic communications providers than on other providers of digital services.

“Converging digital services need converged regulation that is light-touch, future- proof and that facilitates a European single market for services. Regulation should define principles to protect consumer rights and competition, focusing on outcomes (e.g. service characteristics) rather than on means (e.g. how operators evolve and manage their networks).”

The EU and member states continue, stating that they “must reconcile the need for open Internet with pragmatic rules that foster innovation. The telecom Industry warns that the current Net Neutrality guidelines, as put forward by BEREC, create significant uncertainties around 5G return on investment. Investments are therefore likely to be delayed unless regulators take a positive stance on innovation and stick to it".

The report also notes that “Telco and industry verticals concur that the implementation of net neutrality laws should allow for both innovative specialised services required by industrial applications and the Internet access quality expected by all consumers.”

Another pertinent piece of information is that “In this context we must highlight the danger of restrictive net neutrality rules, in the context of 5G technologies, business applications and beyond. 5G introduces the concept of 'network slicing' to accommodate a wide-variety of industry verticals’ business models on a common platform, at scale and with services guarantees.”

EU commissioner for digital economy and society, Günther Oettinger, welcomed the 5G manifesto which is a "valuable input for the 5G action plan that will be presented in September, together with the proposal for the review of the telecom regulatory framework".

Europe 5G

Oettinger received the manifesto from key players including "board-level executives from the telecoms sector (BT Group, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Hutchison Whampoa Europe, Inmarsat, Nokia, Orange, Proximus, Royal KPN, SES, Tele2 AB, TIM - Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telekom Austria Group, Telenor Group, Telia Company and Vodafone) and leading companies from the industries that are most likely to take advantage of 5G technologies early on, starting in 2018 (transport and logistics, healthcare, energy, media and entertainment, manufacturing, smart cities).’

We are also told that "early supporters include Ahlers, Airbus Defence & Space, Royal Philips, Siemens and Thales Alenia Space. It is expected that more industry players will subscribe to it once published. A high level meeting between representatives of the manifesto promoters and Commissioner Oettinger took place to discuss 5G core priorities and recommendations for the next steps".

The 5G manifesto outlines the main opportunities and challenges linked to the deployment of 5G infrastructure in Europe. In particular, it provides recommendations for a common vision and a calendar for deployment of investments, standards and the synchronised introduction of services in Europe. It underlines the need for spectrum and improved regulatory conditions in terms of local installation of cells, open Internet rules which promote innovation, data protection and fair use.

When drawing up its 5G action plan, the Commission says it will "consider the industry analysis and recommendations, alongside other inputs, and in particular from the consultation, which is open until 11 July. The 5G action plan will be presented in September, at the same time as the proposal for the review of the telecom regulatory framework.’

There’s plenty more information for you to read here, while the 5G manifesto is here (PDF link).

You can see the video of the 'participation of Günther Oettinger, Member of the EC, in the round table on '5G manifesto for timely deployment of 5G in Europe,' here


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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