European Union and Computing Power: On Edge Computing


Ericson Scorsim. Lawyer and Consultant in Regulatory Communications Law. Ph.D. in Law from the University of São Paulo (USP). Author of the book “Jogo geopolítico das comunicações 5G – Estados Unidos, China e impacto sobre o Brasil” (The Geopolitical Game of 5G Communications – United States, China, and Impact on Brazil), published on Amazon.

The EU Commission presented its understanding of Europe’s digital decade on March 9, 2021.[1] The goal is to ensure Europe’s digital sovereignty by building technological capabilities. The document emphasizes cloud computing, artificial intelligence, digital identity, and computing power and connectivity infrastructures.

When it comes to edge computing, the EU wants to bring the edge capacity (technology end-users) closer to the telecommunications networks. Another goal is to secure the production of semiconductors in European territory by 2030. The EU also wants to promote international engagement through strategic partnerships with countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. It is worth highlighting the incentives to build cloud computing providers in European territory by installing data centers and electronic communication networks by European companies.

Regarding edge computing intelligence, there is mention of monitoring programs for autonomous vehicles and their respective security. The autonomous vehicle projects will rely on 5G, IoT, and edge computing networks to work correctly, as they will depend on a network of sensors installed in the cars, on the streets, and on the roads, capable of processing real-time information on the movement of the vehicles and warning signs about the presence of other vehicles and/or pedestrians.

Another application of edge computing refers to smart farming projects, in which agricultural machinery is connected through a network of sensors to facilitate precision farming and agriculture. And yet another application of edge computing refers to manufacturing as a service to enable local access to cloud computing networks. As for projects in the health area, there is data collection and data recording at the local level in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, edge computing is expected to provide processing capacity for local public administration in the government sector. In addition to the cloud computing and edge computing ecosystem, with potential benefits for European businesses and public administration, there is also a need to advance computing power through investments in supercomputing technologies and quantum computing.  Quantum computers will enable the development of medicine by simulating the human body(digital twin), allowing the virtual application of medicines, personalized medical treatments, genome sequencing, etc.

Quantum computing will make it possible to increase the security of communications and data transfer. Thus, quantum computing offers more significant guarantees for the protection of sensitive communications. In addition, it will be possible to improve the monitoring of land, sea, and aerospace resources using ground-based quantum sensors. In addition, quantum computers will make it possible to optimize the use of algorithms in logistical activities to save time and fuel. The European Union’s digital transformation is focused on five ecosystems: manufacturing (connectivity through 5G networks, robotics in factories, artificial intelligence, digital twins, and 3D printing), healthcare (digitalization of the sector), construction (increasing productivity by digitizing activities), precision agriculture (increasing productivity, digital solutions, and pesticide control), and mobility (reducing accidents, traffic safety, efficient fuel consumption).

The European Union’s targets for 2030 include: i) seventy-five percent (75%) of companies will migrate to cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence services, ii) more than ninety percent (90%) of European small and medium-sized enterprises will reach basic levels of digital intensity; iii) a favorable environment for innovation and access to financial capital to double the number of unicorns in Europe. As for public services, the EU intends to expand telemedicine services, which have increased significantly during the pandemic. Also, it wants to promote accessibility to digital public services.

In short, the European Union has clear goals for 2030 regarding sustainable digital infrastructure: connectivity (all households to be covered by gigabyte networks, in populated areas with 5G), semiconductors (semiconductor production, including processors, of at least twenty percent (20%) of the value of global production), edge/cloud (10.000 climate-neutral edge points distributed to ensure access to data services at low latency wherever businesses are located), and quantum computing (by 2025, Europe will have the first quantum-accelerated computer).[2]

*All rights reserved. This article must not be reproduced or used without mentioning the source.

[1] European Comission, Brussels, March 9, 2021. Communication from the Comission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the regions. 2030 Digital Compass; the European way for the digital decade.

[2] European Comission. Brussels, 9.3.2021. Annex to the Communication from the Comission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. 2030 Digital Compass; the European way for the digital decade.

Ericson M. Scorsim

Lawyer and Consultant in Communication Law. PhD in Law from USP. Author of the Ebooks Collection on Communication Law with a focus on topics on technologies, internet, telecommunications and media.