EU to invest €900m in 6G research
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:
Giant Euros symbol against building backdrop Credit: @tabrez_syed

The European Commission has announced it will invest €900m into 5G deployment and 6G research as part of a new technology R&D strategy to run until 2027.

A new pan-European partnership on ‘Smart Networks and Services’ will co-ordinate research activities on 6G technology under Horizon Europe programme, as well as 5G deployment initiatives under the Connecting Europe Facility digital programme from 2021-27.

Intended to launch this autumn, the partnership has set a variety of key objectives. This includes “fostering Europe’s technological sovereignty in 6G by implementing the related research and innovation programme, leading to conception and standardisation around 2025.”

Other objectives include preparation for early market adoption of 6G by the end of the decade, as well as boosting 5G deployment in Europe “in view of developing digital lead markets, including cross-border work to ensure interoperability between all 27 EU member states.”

The European Commission also revealed that the public funding will be matched by the private sector leading to a total investment of at least €1.8bn, which the EU said “can be expected to leverage broader R&I investments in Europe in the order of €10bn”.

A spokesman for the European Commission said: “In the next few years, 5G technology and standards will evolve in several phases, just as deployment advances. Operators in 23 EU Member States have already launched commercial 5G networks in major cities, whereas a more comprehensive deployment covering all urban areas and major transport paths across Europe is expected by 2025.

“Advanced 5G network and service infrastructures are key enablers for a broad range of consumer, business and industrial services, but will also be an important starting point for the introduction of 6G technologies in Europe. Europe needs to position itself to ensure the best outcome both for the digital economy at large, but also for the technology capabilities of our existing and emerging industrial leaders.”

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