5G is currently making the headlines across Central and Eastern Europe.
Just in the last few days we have seen Jean Philip De Tender, EBU’s Media Director, give a speech at Media2020 in Bucharest in which he referred to 5G as a “transformative technology” that needs to be taken seriously by public service broadcasters. Equally importantly, they should try to influence the technical standards for 5G so that it is used for not only delivering internet VOD services for which users pay but also 5G-Broadcast, allowing for the reception of FTA services.
Meanwhile in Hungary, delegates at the 20th Internet Hungary conference in Siofok earlier this week heard Istvan Bartolits, the head of the regulator NMHH’s Technology Analysis Department, refer to 5G launches by several major providers in some countries as largely a marketing ploy. Full European 5G standardisation is not complete and the services that are already up and running are actually being implemented with a 5G radio interface based on a 4G infrastructure.
Bartolits also said it would be a mistake to think that Hungary is lagging behind and hopefully it will have real 5G infrastructure with an optical backbone.
In Croatia, Hrvatski Telekom recently announced that it had undertaken a video drone transmission on a 5G network. Significantly, it was the first to take place in the Adria region.
Elsewhere in CEE, the Polish national transmission company Emitel is taking a lead in the introduction of 5G services in the country, while in Slovenia the regulator AKOS is expected to issue 5G frequencies by the middle of next year. 5G trials are currently taking place in Russia, with the first services likely to be launched early in the next decade, and in Romania the regulator ANCOM is expected to award 5G licences at the end of this year.