Session Summary: A 5G Future: Not Just Smoke and Mirrors

Michel Van Bellinghen, Chairman, BEREC Riga

Pearse O'Donohue, Director, Future Networks in the European Commission, DG CONNECT, European Commission

Ulf Pehrsson, Head of Government & Industry Relations of Ericsson, Stockholm

Led by: Anett Numa, Digital Transformation Advisor, e-Estonia, Tallinn


The pandemic has shown us the rising importance of 5G as a consistent flow of data or manufacturing and so that full connectivity is very crucial and important. It is one of the primary goals for the next 5 years. The 5G agenda is becoming part of the recovery plans of many countries yet it still needs a push in terms of its awareness and application not just amongst businesses but mainly for society. The important role in terms of the rollout will play governments and businesses as the key case studies. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that 5G is not just a part of technology and innovations but it is an instrument for the economic recovery as well as the green revolution. Michel Van Bellinghen said that the digital agenda is not yet a reality and we still need to push for 5G. It is important to gain access to the 5G network as soon as possible for various reasons. It has a multiplier effect for all the processes. Pearse O'Donohue said it is the extension of manufacturing as well as potentially the agriculture and benefiting the logistics. It is also accelerating the development of autonomous mobility and environmentally friendly transport, which will be efficient and safe. Ulf Pehrsson also said there are significant values attached to connecting industry and agriculture. In fact, it is worth remembering that there will be environmental benefits, because 5G is green, so it is also part of the green revolution. One of the biggest benefits are investments, the help of small factories and businesses and equally benefitting the environment. 5G can play a crucial role when it comes to economic recovery in the post-pandemic world. 

As Michael Van Bellinghen also mentioned there is still space for instruments to be implemented. We also need to implement the guidelines to constantly monitor the results. Reduce administrative and engineering costs. There are many aspects that need to be taken into consideration. According to Pearse O’Donohue, when it comes to the issue of the EU and its argument of 5G as a leading connection - it is economically more related than the regulating framework. He said they try to provide a non-discriminative framework of approach for all users. The first thing is that we have well-developed mid-bands before moving to high-bands. The debate was brought to the end with the final question on how to increase the awareness of the 5G and it was concluded that there is a need for the continual support of sectors in applying 5G in use cases and help them to understand the technology and to stress how crucial 5G is for the competitiveness and innovation.