South Korea and EU hammer out 5G deal

South Korea and the European Union will work together to develop 5G wireless network technologies and to will come up with a global consensus on standards.

The two sides have apparently agreed on the need for a harmonised radio spectrum policy for ensuring global interoperability of 5G networks, as well as global technical standards,

They will also collaborate with the Third Generation Partnership Project, a group of telecommunications standards organisations, and with the International Telecommunication Union, which sets global policies for spectrum use.

By forming a joint research and development group, the EU and South Korea plan to cooperate on developing ICT services for the cloud and the Internet of Things, among other areas.

The move is to make sure that there is a globally agreed definition and standard for 5G networks in the future.

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, was in Seoul on Monday to sign the agreement.

Kroes said that the move would speed up and make sure that the EU wins the global race to create 5G.

Earlier this year, she set 2020 as the goal to roll out 5G networks across Europe.

Under the new agreement, the EU and South Korea aim to launch jointly funded research projects in 2016 or 2017.

South Korea wants core 5G wireless technologies ready in time for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and introduce the world’s first 5G network services by 2020.

This puts Samsung into the spotlight. It has successfully tested technologies it considers key to 5G last year. South Korea’s major carriers SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus are racing to become the first 5G network provider.