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The FTTH Council Europe – whose mission is to accelerate ubiquitous, fibre-based connectivity for a competitive Gigabit Society – has organised a cross-industry debate in the European Parliament that will focus on Europe’s 5G ambition and investments in 5G enabler infrastructure, while also presenting the latest FTTH market data on where Europe stands in global comparison on fibre deployment and penetration.
According to the Council, very high-capacity networks such as 5G will be a key asset for Europe to compete in the global market and indispensable for European innovation across all business sectors. 5G is expected to enable industrial transformation through wireless broadband services provided at very high speeds, low latency and the capability to handle a large number of connected devices simultaneously as well as enhancing quality of life for example via online health monitoring.
The Council suggests that the capability of the future 5G networks to deliver on this transformational promise crucially depends on the enabling optical fibre infrastructure. This places an enormous responsibility on policy makers across the EU: Policies should incentivise fibre deployment in order to have performant, best in class wireless networks, it states.
“Our vision is that fibre connectivity – the enabler of fixed and wireless Gigabit networks – will transform and enhance the way we live, do business and interact, connecting everyone and everything, everywhere,” declared Ronan Kelly, the President of the FTTH Council Europe. “Already now, we see that the huge increases in mobile data traffic is causing congestion in backhaul networks. If we want to realise the full potential of advanced 5G services, from smarter cities to health applications, FTTH rollout must be strongly encouraged. There is not much point in having Gigabit capacity and single digit millisecond latency if you cannot backhaul it on a fibre network, as it is the only fixed network capable to guarantee such levels of services.”
“We support an open and well informed debate on investments in 5G enablement, fibre infrastructure and the regulatory measures and policies needed to foster those investments. The future generation of wireless networks will rely ever more on fixed fibre networks so Europe needs a clear fibre first strategy if it wants to be a leader on 5G,” added Erzsebet Fitori, Director General of the FTTH Council Europe.
Event participants will discuss inter alia where Europe stands in global comparison on fibre deployment and penetration (FTTH Market Panorama and European and global FTTH ranking), what policy approach is needed to foster 5G investments and enable a new wave of digital innovation in Europe.