New 5G PPP White Paper presented at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

The Mobile World Congress 2016 took place from 22nd to 25th February 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. The Mobile Word Congress is the largest mobile event industry in the world. Attended by over 100,000 attendees, the event aims to bring together stakeholders to present and discuss the latest developments in mobile technologies.

During the 2016 edition, the new 5G Public-Private Partnership (5G PPP) presented its White Paper entitled “5G Empowering Vertical Industries”. The 5G PPP is a joint effort between the European Commission, the industry and the research community. The White Paper claims that the success of 5G will be the driving force behind the fourth industrial revolution, especially as regards the automotive, transport, health, energy, and media sectors.

According to the White Paper, 5G technologies will need to accommodate a wide range of use cases with advanced requirements, especially in terms of latency, resilience, coverage, and bandwidth. 5G will integrate different enabling technologies, including mobile, fixed, satellite and optical. This will, in turn, help create stronger relationships between vendors, operators and verticals. Moreover, 5G will contribute to creating new business value propositions. Last but not least, the White Paper also includes several use cases from vertical sectors and claims that deploying 5G for vertical markets in Europe by 2020 should be seen as a priority.

The Press Release from 5G PPP is available here.

The 5G PPP White Paper is available here.

More information about the Mobile World Congress is available here.

European Union Sets up European Medical Corps

Recent years and in particular the Ebola outbreak have shown the importance of being able to respond and mobilise medical personnel rapidly. In order to increase the EU’s capacity to respond adequately to major health emergencies inside and outside the EU, the European Union has established the European Medical Corps (EMC). The EMC will include emergency medical teams, public health teams, mobile biosafety laboratories, medical evacuation capacities, public health and medical assessment and coordination experts, as well as technical assessment and support teams and logistics support for medical operations. The success of the EMC will require a more in-depth cross-sectoral cooperation between civil protection, health, humanitarian aid, development, and research actors at EU, national and regional level.

The European Medical Corps, part of the European Emergency Response Capacity under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, was officially unveiled at a high-level event at the European Commission on 15th February 2016. Participation to the event was by invitation only, but included the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, as well as representatives from EU Member State emergency management authorities, the World Health Organisation, the European Commission, and the European Parliament.


Press release from the European Commission is available here.

EU Study Suggests Steps to Improve EU Space Market Uptake

According to a new study commissioned by the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee, much still remains to be done to reap the ultimate benefits from the EU’s space policy. Along with outlining the existing EU space policy and the current challenges, the study also suggests several steps that the EU institutions and the EU Member States could take to advance the uptake of the EU space market.

The EU space policy, launched in 2007, is still very young, especially in comparison to competitors such as the US. Current EU efforts in the space sector are centred on the two EU satellite navigation programmes Galileo and Copernicus. The Galileo programme provides highly accurate global positioning services, whereas the Copernicus programme helps monitor the Earth and provides a variety of data sets, useful in a range of industries.

The new study explains the rationales behind EU interventions in the space sector. Notably, the EU recognises the advantages that can be gained by pulling together resources and expertise from the European Space Agency and Member States, as well as the benefits from the development of satellite-based services and products, which could help attain the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy.

The European Commission has already been promoting the uptake of a market based on the use of space data by increasing the budget dedicated to space research, taking legislative actions to create an incentive for a larger use of space satellite data by public and private users, as well as carrying out activities to raise awareness about the Galileo and Copernicus programmes. However, as the study advises, more needs to be done to tackle the barrier currently constraining market development.

According to the study, one of the most important steps to accelerate the space market uptake is the adoption of a long term explicit and common EU space industrial policy, which would set clear objectives and targets. Additionally, existing EU regulations could be reviewed to see where the use of Copernicus data or Galileo services could bring added value. Several other steps, such as improving data accessibility, increasing support for R&D and business development programmes, and harmonising procurement rules, could also be taken to ensure that EU efforts in the space sector bring maximum benefit.


The study on the Space Market Uptake in Europe is available here.

Nordic Countries Issue White Paper in Support of the Use of 700-MHz Band for Emergency Communications

The owners of the nation-wide public safety radio networks in Sweden, Norway and Finland have sent a jointly prepared White Paper to the Radio Spectrum Committee, emphasizing the importance of dedicated frequencies in the 700 MHz band for emergency communications. The Radio Spectrum Committee assists the European Commission and works to ensure harmonised conditions across Europe for the availability and efficient use of radio spectrum.

Currently, the public safety radio networks in the Nordic countries use the TETRA technology for emergency communications. TETRA operates in the 380-400 MHz range and is considered good for voice communication. However, it fails to meet the needs of PPDR organisations today, in the face of increasingly more complex challenges.

The 700 MHz band has so far been allocated for broadcasting purposes, but the frequencies will eventually be allocated for broadband communications in the Nordic countries. In their White Paper, the public safety radio networks in Sweden, Norway and Finland advise allocating part of the 700 MHz band for use by PPDR organisations. Without dedicated frequencies, the next generation emergency communications systems will have to be built exclusively on commercial operators’ networks.

More information is available here.

The Netherlands EU Presidency Prioritises Tackling the Migration Crisis

On 1st January, the Netherlands assumed presidency of the European Council for a six month term. In its work programme, the Netherlands has pinpointed the key areas it will focus on during its Presidency. These are: (1) migration and international security; (2) sound finances and a robust Eurozone, (3) Europe as an innovator and job creator, and (4) forward-looking climate change and energy policy. Interlinked with these focus areas are the three basic principles that will guide the Netherlands Presidency – a Union that focuses on the essentials, a Union that creates innovative growth and jobs, and a Union that connects with society.

Dealing with the current migration crisis is a prime topic mentioned throughout the work programme of the Netherlands Presidency. The threats on the external borders are linked with greater risks inside the EU. It will be necessary to find an appropriate response. The Netherlands suggests that creating stronger links between internal and external policy could be a starting point. A priority of the Netherlands Presidency will be to more effectively control Europe’s external borders, improve the initial reception of refugees in Europe and in the region, and share the burden fairly amongst EU Member States.

To enhance the security of the European Union, the Netherlands will seek to accelerate the elaboration and implementation of the migration package and the early completion of the strategic review of the EU Foreign and Security Policy. The Netherlands will make sure that the themes of security and defence are firmly embedded in future European defence cooperation and related legislation. An over-arching aim of the Netherlands Presidency will be to contribute to a safer, more just and future-proof world.

The Netherlands Presidency work programme is available here.