The European Commission and the South Korean Ministry of Science signed an agreement to "deepen discussions in the area of Net Futures". Together they will develop the next generation of mobile Internet dubbed 5G along with evaluating its impact on network communications and cloud computing.
The EU has agreed to invest €700 million over the next seven years into the 5GPPP (5th generation Public Private Partnership), while the EU industry is set to invest up to 5 times as much. South Korea will be investing into the 5G Forum. 5GPPP and the Forum will sign a memorandum of understanding later on.
The vision for 5G goes beyond providing faster network speeds, though those will certainly be helpful in supporting the growing number of consumers. There's a promise that with 5G connection a rather vague "1 hour HD movie" will be downloaded in just 6 seconds on the go, matching the experience of a fiber connection to your house.
The idea of 5G is even bigger than pure speed and bandwidth. It is supposed to help make smart cities, similar to South Korea's Songdo, to allow buildings, vehicles and infrastructure to communicate and interact.
If you're stuck behind a truck in poor weather conditions, your 5G-enabeld car will be able to stream video from the trucks cameras in front, so you can see better what's ahead. Connected homes will see devices talking to each other – say your smoke detector checking with the thermostat and calling the fire brigade if something goes wrong. Read the What 5G can do for you memo for more examples of future uses.
5G is not something that will roll into the market with the next generation of smartphones though, the planned timeframe is 2020 – 2030.