A recently signed agreement between a number of Nordic nations aims to create the world's first highly integrated 5G region, having been signed by Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark. The collaboration pledge will see the countries work together on shared testbeds, removing regulatory red tap surrounding infrastructure buildouts, coordinating 5G bands, and incentivizing investments spanning a wide variety of industries expected to benefit from the fifth generation of mobile networks, including communications, transportation, agriculture, and automation.
Several telecom giants in the region already welcomed the partnership announcement, having said as much in a recent letter signed by Nokia, Ericsson, Telenor Group, Vodafone Island, and Tele2 Group, among others. The development comes around the time Italy is finalizing the details of the first 5G spectrum auction in Europe, with its telecom regulator already announcing plans to hold such an event in September, seeking to raise at least the equivalent of $2.9 billion in the process of doing so. While many European wireless players repeatedly stated the Old Continent isn't falling behind in the 5G race in recent years, the next-generation technology is still expected to be pioneered by the United States, South Korea, Japan, China, and possibly Australia, with first large-scale deployments being planned to start next year. Whereas all major American mobile service providers are promising national coverage by 2020, European Union's latest 5G plan is targeting 2025 as the final deadline for achieving coverage over all major metropolitan areas and terrestrial roads on the continent.
While 5G will initially deliver improved wireless service in terms of speed, latency, and capacity, its long-term effects entail new jobs and economic growth. The technology is also expected to allow telecom giants to evolve their business models and position themselves more as full-pledged partners and less as service providers to their enterprise customers, with some of the largest European carriers already touting the new standard as a "revolution" for wireless monetization.