The European Commission on Monday announced a deal between Europe and South Korea to jointly develop and standardize 5G networks. As Europe and South Korea “work towards a global definition of 5G,” they’ll figure out exactly what technology will comprise the 5G standard. GigaOM points out that 5G has so far been used primarily as a marketing term, without the actual technological details specified, just to denote something faster or better than 4G. The deal shows that Europe and South Korea, which is home to Samsung (SSNLK.PK) and LG (LGERF.PK), are serious about joining the race to develop and implement the next generation of mobile Internet.
As GigaOM reports, Europe was a leader in implementing 3G technology, but lagged behind just about everyone else when it came time to roll out 4G. Under the current deal, Europe and South Korea will work to pioneer 5G together. They’ll cooperate to use the same radio spectrums for 5G (to avoid roaming issues between Europe and Asia), and will share resources and research to develop the technological standard. The race is on not just to set out the rules for what 5G will require and how fast it will go, but also to be the first region to roll out new technology to support faster mobile Internet speeds.
The group hopes to have outlined the standards for 5G by the end of 2015, and The Wall Street Journal reports that getting ahead in the transition could be crucial for Europe. The difference between 5G and 4G, which Europe struggled to implement, is dramatic. Users on a 4G connection can download a one-hour HD film in six minutes. Europe projects that a 5G connection could see that download time drop to six seconds. But there’s much more to 5G than just speed.