EU, Brazil agree to cooperate on ultra-fast 5G

February 23, 2016
Mobile phones with 5G are displayed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 22, 2016
Mobile phones with 5G are displayed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 22, 2016

The European Union and Brazil signed an agreement Tuesday to cooperate on developing ultra-fast 5G mobile networks, aimed at massively speeding up Internet connections on either side of the Atlantic.

The agreement signed in Barcelona by EU Digital Commissioner Guenther Oettinger and Brazilian Communications Minister Andre Figueiredo sets out goals on common 5G standards and research as well as timeframes for introducing the new technology.

"Neither Europe, nor Brazil can afford to lag behind in the digital era. With today's agreement we have notably committed to cooperating on the take-up of 5G in so-called vertical industries such as transport or energy," Oettinger said in a statement after the signing at the Mobile World Congress, the world's biggest mobile fair.

In a joint statement, Brazil and the European Commission said communications infrastructure was "the backbone of the future digital economy and society, creating more and better jobs, and contributing to a " in both the Brazilian and EU economies.

Lightning fast 5G networks are seen as central to the development of the Internet of Things, a growing array of intelligent web-enabled objects used in everyday life.

By delivering data at much faster speeds 5G networks could enable services such as driverless cars and remote surgery—whereby a surgeon performs an operation remotely with the aid of a robot—and allow customers to experience video and virtual reality with greater ease.

The International Telecommunication Union, a UN agency which works on interconnection among global carriers, said its member countries had approved a plan detailing how to harmonise standards for 5G, with the rollout expected for 2020.

Besides Brazil, the EU has also signed agreements on 5G cooperation with China, Japan and South Korea.

Explore further: EU to launch action plan to develop superfast 5G mobile network

Related Stories

AT&T testing superfast 5G mobile network

February 12, 2016

AT&T announced plans Friday to begin testing a superfast fifth generation, or 5G, mobile network with speeds up to 100 times faster than the most rapid existing connections.

Phone firms and the quest for the 5G Holy Grail

March 3, 2015

Lightning-quick downloads, driverless cars and remote surgery: telecom firms are racing to develop a new generation of "5G" mobile networks that could start to change the world in five years.

Countries back roadmap toward 5G networks

October 29, 2015

Countries have approved a roadmap for developing a new generation of "5G" mobile networks, the UN said Thursday, in what could pave the way for lightning-quick downloads and driverless cars.

Recommended for you

WhatsApp vulnerable to snooping: report

January 13, 2017

The Facebook-owned mobile messaging service WhatsApp is vulnerable to interception, the Guardian newspaper reported on Friday, sparking concern over an app advertised as putting an emphasis on privacy.

US gov't accuses Fiat Chrysler of cheating on emissions

January 12, 2017

The U.S. government accused Fiat Chrysler on Thursday of failing to disclose software in some of its pickups and SUVs with diesel engines that allows them to emit more pollution than allowed under the Clean Air Act.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.