With 5G, Europe closes the network gap with the US

CNET | 7/10/2019 | Katie Collins
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5G arrived in London this May.

We can thank Europe for building much of what made the modern mobile phone. Companies like Nokia and Ericsson built the first blockbuster devices and the continent created GSM, the network technology used around the world.

Generation - Data - Speeds - Europe - Year

With the latest generation in mobile data speeds, though, Europe isn't leading, it's following. Over the past year the US and South Korea have beat Europe to the launch of 5G, bringing a new chapter in mobile experiences, such as streaming 4K video on the go, less network congestion in busy city centers and support for new technologies such as autonomous cars.

But even as a follower, Europe is host to a fiercely competitive environment of stakeholders all wanting to prove they can deploy 5G first. Obstacles such as spectrum auctions in some countries remain, but the region's networks have shown that when necessary, they can accelerate their own plans to catch up and keep pace with industry leaders around the world.

Mobile - World - Congress - Barcelona - February

Even since Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, Europe's networks have made big progress in implementing 5G. In April, Switzerland's Swisscom became the first European carrier to switch on its 5G service, with the UK's EE following in May. Since then, Vodafone has also turned on its 5G network, not just in the UK, but also in Spain and Italy, with the network promising 5G roaming across all three countries, and Germany, this summer.

Sure, coverage is patchy right now and speed test results are mixed as CNET's tests around the UK have found, but Europe's 5G rollout is indisputably underway.

Trend - Networks - Bundling - Data - Products

One trend so far among European networks is the bundling of unlimited data with extra products or services, such as home broadband, or unlimited data reserved specifically for gaming or video streaming. The US has been doing this, too --...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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