There are currently 1.2 billion mobile broadband users. This figure increases by hundreds of millions each year.

In the past, the European Union participated in many of the mobile developments, such as GSM standards (currently used by 80% of the world’s mobile networks). It also participated in the third generation of universal mobile telecom systems (3G), as well as in the fourth generation (Long Term Evolution Standards) 4G.

By 2020, worldwide mobile traffic will reach a level of 33 times its level in 2010. By then, wireless devices, such as smartphones, tablets and sensors, will dominate the internet world, which means that an even more efficient technology than the existing one will be necessary to carry the data traffic. Alongside this evolution, every sector of the economy is becoming more and more digital.

For all these reasons, Neelie Kroes intends to make the European industry a pioneer in the sphere of 5G technology.

Several research projects partly funded by the European Union are already focusing on 5G technology (METIS, 5G now, TROPIC, etc.). These projects aim at considerably increasing the mobile data volume, the number of connected devices, the battery life for low power machine-to-machine communication, etc.