The next generation of wireless communications technology, commonly referred to as ‘5G’ currently receives a lot of attention, not only from the mobile industry, the research community and academia but also from regulators and policy makers.

The European Commission and the 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership Association (5G-PPP) are fostering discussions between the telecommunication industry and representatives of other industries that are expected to benefit from 5G in the future. This work has resulted in a white paper ‘5G empowering vertical industries’, which outlines potential uses of 5G in different sectors and their technical requirements. Five vertical sectors have been considered, including the automotive sector, the health sector, smart factories, energy, and media and entertainment.

At this year’s Mobile World Congress which is currently taking place in Barcelona, Commissioner Oettinger has announced that the Commission will work with the industry to prepare a coordinated 5G action plan for Europe. The action plan would be adopted by the end of the year and should reflect the interest of both the telecom industry and the vertical sectors.

In order to ensure that the requirements of the European public service media organizations are properly taken into account in the ongoing 5G developments, the EBU is currently coordinating the development of a white paper with a focus on audiovisual media services in the 5G context.

Audiovisual content and services have been amongst the key drivers of the take-up of fast and superfast broadband and of the adoption of new consumer technologies. They could play a similar role in the adoption of 5G. This would require the 5G ecosystem to support a virtuous circle between content creation, the demand for new services and applications, technological developments, and the infrastructure developments.

It is the EBU’s view that success of 5G in the AV market will strongly depend on its ability to align the incentives of stakeholders across the value chain. In doing so, it will be important to strike a balance between market players’ legitimate commercial interests and the policy objectives aiming at promoting general interests and public value.

The EBU Strategic Programme on Future Distribution Strategies provides a forum for EBU Members to discuss 5G and other important issues related to the ways their content and services will be distributed in the future.

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