An EU initiative, Horizon 2020, is looking into the possibility of a more standardized roll-out of 5G across the EU and is working with universities as well as network operators for a solution to bring us in line with advances from the US and Asia. 

Assuming that the UK will be one of the 19 projects, it will be interesting to see whether the objective of not compromising innovation by avoiding upgrading existing network infrastructure is realistic or whether the major operators will pull rank.

If the EU initiative is successful, intervention on this scale could have a drastic effect on the way mobile operators compete, especially if they are all using the same technology. Only time will tell.