5G and Net Neutrality
THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET – INNOVATION, INTEGRATION AND SUSTAINABILITY (Guenter Knieps & Volcker Stocker eds., Nomos 2019)
35 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2019 Last revised: 4 Jan 2020
Date Written: 2019
Industry observers have raised the possibility that European network neutrality regulations may obstruct the deployment of 5G. To assess those claims, this Chapter describes the key technologies likely to be incorporated into 5G, including millimeter wave band radios, massive multiple input/multiple output (MIMO), ultra-densification, multiple radio access technologies (multi-RAT), and support for device-to-device (D2D) and machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity. It then reviews the business models likely to be associated with 5G, including network management through biasing and blanking, an emphasis on business-to-business (B2B) communications, and network function virtualization/network slicing. It then lays out the network neutrality regulations created by the EU in 2015 as well as the nonbinding interpretive guidelines issued by the Body of Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication (BEREC) in 2016 and assesses how they will be applied to 5G. Network neutrality’s impact on 5G will likely to be determined by the way that the exceptions for reasonable traffic management and specialised services are interpreted. A broad interpretation should accommodate network slicing and other new business models needed to support the deployment of 5G, while a narrow interpretation could restrict innovation and investment.
Keywords: Net neutrality, European Union, mobile broadband, wireless technology, telecommunications, 5G Manifesto, Internet of Things, EU law, EU regulation, reasonable traffic management, 5G, device-to-device, D2D, machine-to-machine, M2M, MIMO, BEREC, multiple radio access technologies, multi-RAT
JEL Classification: K0, K2, O3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation