Nokia is set to further its development of 5G technology after securing a £500m loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The EIB is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) as part of the Investment Plan for Europe and has chosen to invest in the Finnish telecommunications company Nokia to develop this technology. Nokia has been awarded the 5G European funding amid competition from its various global competitors. In June, the EIB gave a £250m loan to the Swedish company Ericsson, which was also awarded to develop 5G technology.
While the EIB has funded these two European companies, one of their international competitors, the Chinese company Huawei, is currently banned from providing 5G technology in Australia and has recently come under critique from the UK and US governments.
What has the European Commission said about the investment?
The Vice-President of the European Commission, Jyrki Katainen, has said, “Ensuring that Europe embraces and benefits from new technologies requires sustained investment. That is where the Investment Plan for Europe can play a crucial role. I am delighted that, with today’s agreement, the plan is contributing to Nokia’s research and development activities across multiple European countries to advance the development of 5G technology”.
The development of 5G is intended to boost growth and has multiple expected benefits for its users. These benefits include faster speeds, more reliable mobile networks, and wider coverage. The improved connectivity which 5G technology is expected to provide could enable advanced technologies such as virtual reality and driverless vehicles.
The vice-president of the EIB, Alexander Stubb, has also commented on the growth of 5G; “5G is happening fast, faster than most people even expected. It’s anticipated that it will enable entirely new business cases, while dramatically enhancing existing wireless applications. I think bringing 5G to the market will definitely improve people’s lives, as the motto for the EIB’s 60th anniversary states.”