i3, une unité mixte de recherche CNRS (UMR 9217)

Institut Interdisciplinaire de l'Innovation

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Implications of Brexit for EU27 innovation and deployment of 5G Gérard Pogorel
Posted on 4 July 2018

The ITRE Committee (Industry Transports Energy) of the European Parliament held a workshop on June 19, 2018 on the impacts of Brexit. Gérard POGOREL, Professor of Economics-Emeritus, Telecom ParisTech, was the rapporteur on the Implications of Brexit for EU27 innovation and deployment of 5G. He addressed the various issues pertaining to 5G deployment.

Regarding 5G Standards, high level decision-making bodies, ITU, CEPT, ETSI and 3GPP are outside and above the EU: No change will occur for EU27

Concerning R&D on 5G and future wireless technologies, the H2020 Research plan could be directly impacted. If we look at UK participants, our i3 partners, a quick qualitative survey, identifies on the one hand entities like Universities (Surrey, Bristol, ICL, …), BT, BBC, which are strictly territorial. But on the other hand telecom operators like Vodafone, O2 (Telefonica), as well as UK based Industry research centers form NEC (Japan), Samsung (Korea), Interdigital (US) are susceptible to leave, the UK, to Ireland or the continent. A big question here is whether the involvement in H2020 of UK companies, operators and their suppliers could be maintained post-Brexit. This will very much depend on the type of relationship the UK establishes with the EU: EEA countries like Norway, or countries like Switzerland and Israel do participate in EU research projects, at a cost. Industry geographies are obviously impacted. Each industry has an EU27/UK specific value chain and geography, as demonstrated in recent announcements by Airbus and Nissan UK.

Brexit poses a big risk of a lose-lose outcome for both EU27 and the UK.  Opinions in the UK itself are divided: it is obvious the « Take back control » mantra of Brexiters collides with the UK Industry and R&D community vision. Our colleagues push strongly to maintain their relationships with EU27. But unfortunately, their hopes could be sacrificed in the grand bargain that will take place in the Fall this year.