On the 25th of February EIF and EIF member GSMA hosted our 5th annual High-Level Roundtable on the eve of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, with the theme “The global 5G promise”.
This year’s event featured notably the participation of ten European and four Latin American telecom regulators, the European Commission, twelve EIF member companies, three major EIF member associations, ETNO, ESOA and GSMA, four international organisations including EIF member ETSI, IEE and ICANN, and eight MEP members of EIF. The roundtable was co-chaired by GSMA Vice President Afke Schaart and EIF Chair Pilar del Castillo MEP, and moderated by Peter Linton, EIF Senior Advisor.
Our purpose was to better understand how the 5G revolution is gathering momentum around the world, assess Europe’s progress toward our strategic goals, and consider what current and future legislative challenges this portends.
Contributions from our extra-European and international guests made clear that Europe has little time to lose in resolving our on-going barriers to 5G uptake at regional level (notably spectrum allocation) and national/local level (notably spectrum licensing conditions and environmental norms).
In her introductory remarks Claire Bury, Deputy Director General, DG CNECT, set out the European Commission's current proposals for resolving these barriers.
From the European regulatory side, BEREC Chair Johannes Gungl stressed that 2018 will be the year of 5G for BEREC and its members, a number of whom observed that the regulatory agenda in view of 5G is by no means yet clear and that views from stakeholders will be both necessary and welcome.