Nordic leaders ink deal to take the lead on 5G

25 May 2018

Geirangerfjord in Norway, which is one of the five signatories. Image: Andrey Armyago/Shutterstock

Leaders from Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Norway have agreed on a united 5G strategy.

The prime ministers of countries in the Nordic region (Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway) have together signed a letter of intent around the development of 5G in the area.

The letter details their commitment to creating conditions that will foster the growth of this new era in mobile connectivity. It also outlines the region’s aim to become the first and most integrated 5G region in the world.

An innovative region

The group said: “The Nordic region is one of the most innovative and digitalised regions in the world.  With our mature digital infrastructure, high level of digital skills, and ambitious national strategies for digital transformation in the public and private sectors, we have the potential to take a leading role in the next leap for wireless communications.

“As the development of fifth-generation wireless systems (5G) breaks through, the Nordic countries will be at the forefront of that development to become world leaders in using 5G technology for the development and digitalisation of all sectors of society.”

The action plan outlined by the leaders will involve the development of new testing facilities including testbeds, ensuring the technical coordination of 5G frequency bands across the entire region and removing obstacles to 5G expansion.

The development of the new standard in the region will be closely monitored and followed up by the Nordic Council of Ministers, which will facilitate implementation in cooperation with the governments in the region.

Telecoms giants in support

Nordic telecoms companies in support of the region include: Ericsson, Nokia, Iceland Telecom, TDC Group, Telenor Group, Tele2 Group, Telia Company and Vodafone Iceland.

CEOs of these companies issued a statement welcoming the new deal between the countries. It read: “We look forward to actively collaborating with the ministers of digitalisation and ministers responsible for the key sectors identified as well as other stakeholders on the follow-up to the letter of intent.”

The CEOs added: “Swift elaboration of specific, measurable and time-bound actions to facilitate deployment ecosystems will be crucial to create the right conditions for private investment – the foundation of 5G roll-out. Appropriate spectrum assignment rules and removing obstacles to the deployment of 5G infrastructure should be at the centre of such [an] action plan.”

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects