IT minister: 5G network necessary already in near future

While at the moment the possibilities offered by the 4G network suffice for consumers, a 5G network will be necessary in the near future for service providers as well as devices, which need reliable and fast internet for the transmission of ever increasing data volumes, Minister of Foreign Trade and Information Technology Raul Siem (EKRE) said after a meeting with telecom executives.

Siem met with executives of telecommunications companies in the framework of public consultations over a regulation to change the terms of the first tender for 5G frequencies to get an overview of the state of play in the discussions. 

"Foremost I wanted to get an overview of what ideas, proposals, but also controversies communications operators are having at the moment when it comes to the frequency tender,"  Siem said on Thursday. 

According to the minister, all the executives said the demands of Estonian consumers and the data volumes handled are growing day by day, especially in light of remote working having become commonplace.

The minister said he is optimistic, even though the issue of distribution of frequency permits has been pending for longer than expected and caused differences among the parties. 

"Based on yesterday's meeting, I can see that cooperation is possible and I hope that we will soon reach an outcome thanks to which we will get the development of the 5G network in Estonia going in the future," the minister said. 

In mid-June, the minister decided to extend the period of public consultation over the regulation to make changes to the tender for the first 5G frequency band of 3.6 GHz. Feedback from telecom operators is awaited by July 31 the latest. 

According to the minister's proposal, the 3,410-3,800 megahertz band will be divided into four equal bands instead of three as a measure to facilitate competition.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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