Plans to introduce a super-fast 5G mobile network in Serbia have been cancelled, at least for 2021, because, according to what Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Monday, people do not need it.
The Government and mobile operators agreed that the 4G network in all parts of the country should be further developed first.
“People in Serbia currently do not need a 5G network. The scientific community, that uses supercomputers for artificial intelligence, will eventually need 5G. But we, as ordinary citizens, do not need a 5G network,” the Prime Minister said.
The move seems to be related to the Washington agreement signed in September by which Serbia has committed itself not to buy 5G equipment from unreliable suppliers, which is believed to be a US’ attempt to block China’s Huawei, the company that has gone the furthest in developing 5G technology, and which Belgrade has said would be its strategic technological partner.
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Brnabic’s claim that people do not need 5G network contradicts earlier state officials’, including the Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications, statements about 5G as crucial for Serbia’s economy, and therefore for its citizens.
Marko Crnjanski from the Netokracija website said that in the future, foreign investors would choose the countries in which there was access to 5G internet.
“Its application is not only for users who stream and the like, but it will be used in industries too. For example, surgeries can be performed thanks to the 5G network. Someone can be an assistant in the operating room via the 5G network,” he said.
Telecommunications experts say that the real reason for the change of plans is simple – “there is no money for now”.
Petar Djukic, a professor at the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, said the reasons for postponing the auction for the 5G network were not political, but economic.
“There is no money for it at the moment and I don’t think there is a chance that that money will appear soon,” he said.
This post is also available in: Italiano