5G quality connectivity has the potential to improve digital services in local areas, playing a key role in supporting a long-lasting economic recovery and social cohesion. 5G technology in smart communities will help modernise socio-economic drivers in many sectors, notably in healthcare, education, public administration and transport, making them more efficient and resilient.
By ensuring faster data-transfer speeds, low latency, wider coverage and greater network reliability, 5G technology is also expected to boost the take up of Internet of Things (IoT) systems, which have immense potential to add value to physical objects when connected and integrated into cloud solutions.
The Commission launched a call as part of CEF Digital in January 2022. It will select projects that constitute examples of concrete 5G use cases and that have the potential of sparking incentive for future 5G-based application developments in different sectors.
In 2022, a dedicated Coordination and Support Action, selected among applicants of a call for proposal, will help raise awareness on these projects and disseminate results. The aim is to create a set of best practice 5G use cases, which can be re-used as benchmarks for innovative applications also under other funding programmes across the Union.
By supporting the deployment and take up of 5G to support services of general interest in local communities, the initiative will contribute to raise awareness about the benefits of bringing 5G to all populated areas in Europe, and hence to achieve the new 5G targets set in the Digital Compass for the end of the Decade.
Examples of 5G in smart communities
In healthcare, 5G-connected hospitals or ambulances can help monitor patients, make early diagnostics, and enable personalised medical advice and treatment.
In education, 5G in underserved areas will allow students to take part in classes from remote locations with virtual and augmented reality, allowing for increased interaction and making lessons more efficient and fun. The technology has the potential of spreading online learning, which has become more and more common during the pandemic.