The European Commission (EC) and Japan have announced that they will work together on the development of 5G mobile technologies, and confirmed that EUR12 million (USD13.1 million) of funding has already been set aside for 5G-related projects related to the Internet of Things (IoT), the cloud and big data platforms that use 5G spectrum to transmit data. The deal comes in the wake of the European Union’s (EU’s) recent announcement that it intends to ink similar agreements with countries such as China and the US. The EU commissioner for the digital economy and society, Gunther Oettinger, explained: ‘5G will be the backbone of our digital economies and societies worldwide. This is why we strongly support and seek a global consensus and cooperation on 5G.’ He went on to note that the agreement with Japan marks a potential ‘milestone on the road to a global definition of 5G, its service characteristics and standards’. The EU-Japan collaboration will focus on areas such as the most suitable spectrum bands, and which applications (e.g. e-health) will benefit most from how 5G services are developed.