Universal Access to telecommunication services and ICTs is on every government’s high priority list. However, due to the high cost of deploying infrastructure in rural areas of developing countries due to low economic activity, this goal is often hard to achieve. The Public Private Partnership model (A business relationship between a private-sector company and a government agency for the purpose of completing a project that will serve the public.) is often used by states as one of the infrastructure development paths that makes network technologies widely available to the general population. Many countries have successfully launched PPP programs in telecommunications and ICT sector.
Estonia Rural Connectivity program is one of the examples of a well-executed PPP projects; Estonia has one of the highest degrees of connectivity in Europe as a result of the focus placed on the development of a core network infrastructure and provision of access to the general population. Through a concession agreement with the Estonian Telephone Company, the company helped to ensure connectivity in rural and scarcely populated areas in return for lucrative urban contracts. The government is actively extending connectivity throughout the nation. By 2002 Estonia had approximately 300 public Internet access points providing free email and Internet access. These points also serve as e-government access points where citizens can conduct the majority of their transactions with the public administration.
Apart from developing telecommunications infrastructures, PPP model is gradually becoming a tool for innovation technologies. In 2014 European commission started 1.4 billion Euro project involving ICT industry manufacturers, telecommunications operators, service providers, SMEs and researchers. For the next few years European mobile operators will prepare for the roll-out of 5G instead of 4G. The innovations brought by 5G extend beyond the realm of communications. This new infrastructure will connect multiple devices and sensors, the technology is also expected to transform homes, cities and industries.
5g projects main goal is to integrate technology in several fields by using Public Private Partnerships. According to the projects website The challenge for the 5G Public Private Partnership (5G PPP) is to secure Europe’s leadership in the particular areas where Europe is strong or where there is potential for creating new markets such as smart cities, e-health, intelligent transport, education or entertainment & media. The main objectives of the 5G PPP project are;
5G would transform networks into intelligent orchestration platforms, setting the stage for innovative business models by changing the relationship between suppliers, mobile network operators (MNOs) and verticals. Such as automotive, energy, health, manufacturing, media and transportation.
According to the project’s publications, 5G could play a key role in healthcare helping cut costs of health service delivery by making more mobile services possible, such as personalized care, smart pharmaceuticals, and connected medical devices; or in media and entertainment, where it forecast benefits around adoption of ultra-high definition video, on-site live event experiences, user-generated content sharing, immersive media and virtual reality. By 2018 project members are planning to showcase their achievements in 5G technology.