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David Cameron wants 5G and one second movie downloads

Deutschland would be an uber ally
Mon Mar 10 2014, 10:41
David Cameron speaking at CeBIT 2014

UK PRIME MINISTER Dave Cameron imagines a 5G tie up with Germany that would let him download an 800MB movie in a second, stay on top of milk rations, and roam Europe.

Cameron was speaking at the Cebit trade show in Germany about computers when he moved on to the high speed digital download that he fancies. He said that the UK and Germany will do well in the computer world only if they keep pushing forward.

He didn't, perhaps unsurprisingly, mention GCHQ, PRISM, TEMPORA, the NSA or bugging German Chancellor Merkel's phone. Instead, he imagined a cosy relationship.

"Today we can put in our pockets a computer more powerful than any computer in the world 20 years ago. Just a decade ago - Skype was a typo, a tweet was something you heard from a bird, a cloud was something you saw in the sky - not somewhere you stored your data. Companies that are starting in people's garages and bedrooms one year are going stratospheric the next," he said.

"This is a world on fast forward, a world of permanent technological revolution and in this world, countries like the UK and Germany will only succeed if we have a relentless drive for new ideas and innovations. That's why I am here today. And I have come here with a mission and a message."

That mission is to promote UK technology. Cameron talked up local tax breaks, the government's increased use of IT and local success stories like the Raspberry Pi. But that's not the end of it, he said, and Cameron wants to do much more with the German ally.

"I come here today with a message too, for our German friends," he said. "We want to work with you to pool ideas, share data, innovate, to lead on the next big ideas."

Cameron can see three areas where two governments, one of which doesn't particularly trust the other, could work together closely, and the first is 5G.

Already joint work is happening and Cameron announced a tie-up between the University of Dresden, King's College University in London and the University of Surrey.

"With 4G, an 800MB movie takes around 40 seconds to download; with 5G that would be cut to one second," he said. "Three world-leading universities working on 5G hand in hand - that is something to be truly excited about."

Also good, he said, are a single telecoms market and an end to roaming charges. Here both the UK and Germany have the work of the European Commission to follow.

Third up was the internet of things, and Cameron trotted out the example of a fridge that knows when you are close to running out of milk.

"I see the internet of things as a huge transformative development a way of boosting productivity of keeping us healthier making transport more efficient reducing energy needs, tackling climate change," he said.

"We are on the brink of a new industrial revolution and I want us - the UK and Germany - to lead it."

This weekend the Mail on Sunday reported that David Cameron has been reduced to buying Facebook fans.

The Mail reckoned that such a move could have cost around £7,000. "Just over a month ago, he was almost 20,000 'likes' behind Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's 80,000," it added, "but now he has 127,000". µ


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