Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, recently announced in Strasbourg the proposed policies the EU is going to implement in order to enable free WiFi, abolish data roaming fees and fully ”deploy” 5G mobile networks.
To begin with, the EU committed to ensure free connection in the next four years across member states. ‘We propose today to equip every European village and every city with free wireless Internet access around the main centers of public life by 2020’, said Juncker. ‘Digital technologies and digital communications are permeating every aspect of life. All they require is access to high-speed Internet (…) We need to be connected. Our economy needs it. People need it.’ Moreover, 5G mobile networks with a download speed of at least 100 Mbps will be ubiquitously available by 2025.
Public authorities will be able to purchase wireless equipment through a new grant with a total budget of €120 million beginning 2017, if the grant receives approval from the European Parliament, in the first phase, and the individual goverments afterwards.
All in all, important steps are being made to eliminate the pricey roaming costs, but while the public Internet networks will definitely ease connectivity throughout the continent, there will always remain to be addressed the concern of data safety, as well as connection reliability.
During the last 10 years, the niche of mobile wifi devices rental has gained much popularity especially among travelers. The portable wifi hotspots allow multiple devices to be connected simultaneously and use a secure, stable network, at a fraction of the roaming prices. These advantages quickly turned the industry around, with more and more startups offering competitive services in the last years, as seen on the online wifi rental booking directory at rent-wifi.com.