The development is aimed at placing Europe on par with the U.S. and China vis-a-vis 5G. While the U.S. and China have moved rapidly to deploy the nascent 5G technology, Europe is not one to be left behind.
Although the development of 5G mobile networks are still nascent, so as to develop them further Telecom network equipment maker Nokia has secured a $572 million (500 million euro) loan from the European Investment Bank.
5G technology is expected to provide data speeds of up to 50 to 100 times faster than 4G. 5G mobile networks will also serve as critical infrastructure for a range of tomorrow’s industries, including self-driving cars.
“We have to understand that China and the U.S. have moved fast with the 5G. It is very important to have European companies going in for this competition,” said Alexander Stubb, EIB’s vice president.
The mobile network gear business, led by China’s Huawei and the two Nordic companies, has struggled with flagging sales; demand for 4G mobile equipment peaked in 2015.
In a significant development, in July 2018, Nokia announced its $3.5 billion deal with U.S. mobile carrier T-Mobile, for a 5G mobile network. It is so far the biggest 5G agreement.
According to GSMA, a trade group, by 2025, 1.2 billion people will have access to 5G networks, with a third of them being in China.