The European Commission (EC) and South Korea are to work together on the development of 5G technologies, including the establishment of an agreed definition for 5G services and further research.
The deal was signed in Seoul by Neelie Kroes, vice president of the EC for the Digital Agenda, and Choi Mun-Kee, South Korea's minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning.
The EC and South Korea will work together on research trials, which will begin in 2016, with a call for research projects from industry to help develop the sorts of areas that need testing.
Kroes said the deal was a vital step forward to ensure 5G would become reality in a timely manner, as the demand for mobile services continues to rocket.
"5G will become the new lifeblood of the digital economy and digital society once it is established. Both Europe and Korea recognise this,” she said.
“This is the first time ever that public authorities have joined together in this way, with the support of private industry, to push forward the process of standardisation. Today’s declaration signals our commitment to being global digital leaders.”
The deal with South Korea underlines Europe's intention to be at the forefront of the next mobile revolution, as Korea has always been a leader on such innovations, while Europe has traditionally played catch-up.
But 5G plans are already on the agenda in Europe, with firms such as EE already looking to its 5G future. The UK government has also touted its importance, as explained by prime minister David Cameron at the CeBIT event in Germany earlier this year.
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