IATE Term of the Week: 5G



5G is the term used to refer to the fifth generation of ubiquitous mobile telecommunications technology. In other words, it is the newest mobile network that is replacing the current 4G technology. 5G plays a central role when building a Digital Single Market and is key for the development of digital economy and society in the next decade.

5G and Europe

5G is in fact an essential asset for Europe to compete in the global market and it is one one of the five priority areas under the recently launched Digitizing European Industry initiative. It will provide virtually ubiquitous, ultra-high bandwidth, and low latency “connectivity” not only to individual users but also to connected objects.

Thus, it will enable:

industrial transformation through wireless broadband services provided at Gigabit speeds

-the support of new types of applications connecting devices and objects (the Internet of Things)

-versatility by way of software virtualisation allowing innovative business models across multiple sectors such as the automotive, health and energy sectors

5G and the European Union

Having identified these opportunities, European Union has been working on the development of this technology for the past decade. In 2013, the European Commission launched the EU Public-Private Partnership (5G-PPP) with the aim of making sure that 5G technology is available in Europe by 2020. A 5G vision paper was developed together with the 5G PPP in 2015, along with the ongoing research and to support the development of the 5G research and standards. With this same purpose, the Commission adopted in 2016 a 5G Action Plan for Europe with a view to start launching 5G services in all EU Member States. In June 2018, the new Electronic Communications Code enhancing the deployment of 5G networks was settled.


55G Research & Standards – Digital Single Market – European Commission. https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/research-standards [Accessed June 3, 2019]

5G for Europe Action Plan – Digital Single Market – European Commission. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/5g-europe-action-plan [Accessed June 3, 2019]

5G-PPP. https://5g-ppp.eu/ [Accessed June 3, 2019]

European Commission – PRESS RELEASES – Press release – Digital Single Market: EU negotiators reach a political agreement to update the EU’s telecoms rules. Europa.eu. http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-4070_en.htm [Accessed June 3, 2019]

IATE. (n.d.). Retrieved June 3, 2019 from https://iate.europa.eu/search/standard/result/1559575064932/1

More than smartphones: White paper shows how 5G will transform EU manufacturing, health, energy, automotive, media & entertainment sectors – Digital Single Market – European Commission. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/more-smartphones-white-paper-shows-how-5g-will-transform-eu-manufacturing-health-energy [Accessed June 3, 2019]

Proud to announce our new checklist for national 5G strategies – Digital Single Market – European Commission. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/blogposts/proud-announce-our-new-checklist-national-5g-strategies [Accessed June 3, 2019]

Towards 5G – Digital Single Market – European Commission. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/towards-5g [Accessed June 3, 2019]

Written by Paula Zapatero Santos, from León (Spain), Trainee in the Spanish Translation Unit of the European Parliament. Paula holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Translation and Interpreting (Universidad de Salamanca) and a Master of Arts in Applied French Language (Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Sorbonne Université).