5G Users Forum: Empowering EU Smart Cities

A dialogue series by ETNO
Webinar, 7 December 2020, 14h - 15h30 CET

The year of 2020 has seen 5G roll-out and uptake on the rise in Europe, being deployed commercially in different corners of the continent. More and more Europeans are becoming aware of 5G and some of its benefits, but what can 5G do in concrete terms for local communities?

The “5G Users Forum” dialogue series already engaged this fall a broad range of EU policymakers and industry stakeholders. Moreover, the first 2 chapters of the trilogy have digitally travelled to Sweden, the UK, Italy, France, Spain and Germany to learn from experts managing 5G use-cases in healthcare and smart manufacturing sectors.

On 7 December, we continued the digital tour around Europe, this time landing in Portugal and Bulgaria, with the aim of allowing speakers and attendees to learn more and exchange on what 5G can do for Europeans in a Smart City environment. Leading policymakers gave an overview of the state of play in key policy files that will shape the Smart Cities of tomorrow.

Video recording from the event:

5G Users Forum: Empowering EU Smart Cities from ETNO on Vimeo.


 14h – 14h10: Welcoming remarks

  • Lise Fuhr, Director General, ETNO (European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association)

14h10 – 15h15: 5G and Smart Cities

  • Opening comments on 5G and smart cities by Franco Accordino, Head of Unit, Investment in High-Capacity Networks, European Commission
  • Opening comments on 5G and smart cities by Henna Virkkunen, Member of the European Parliament
  • Presentation by Marc Pérez-BatlleInnovation Manager, Municipal Institute of Information Technology, Barcelona City Council

Use-cases presented

  • Smart5Grid project, presented by Teodor Bobochikov, Entra Energy, partner of Vivacom
  • Aveiro STEAM City project, presented by Francisco Fontes, Senior Technology Consultant, Altice Labs

Followed by a moderated discussion by Maarit Palovirta, Director of Regulatory Affairs, ETNO

15h15 – 15h30: Q&A from remote audience (with all speakers)


What do you want from your 5G? The next wave of wireless connectivity, 5G, will enable faster speeds and higher capacity. Much has been said about the transformative potential of 5G over the past few years, but few of us can name any concrete examples of applications that can make use of the capabilities 5G has to offer. As roll-out continues across Europe, it is high time to have an open and creative conversation on how 5G can bring tangible, concrete benefits to the services and products we know today.

Ultimately, 5G is not about telecom operators selling more megabytes per month or megabits per second to mobile subscribers. The transformative capacity of 5G lies in making it easier for all citizens to access healthcare, reducing the environmental footprint of the automotive sector through smart mobility services, and making industrial workplaces safer through automated machinery. The story does not end here: 5G can be a platform for innovation that only European start-ups and innovators can make the most of.

We know that previous generations of mobile technology have transformed our lives, and 5G is no different. This project will give healthcare professionals, manufacturers and others that will see tangible benefit from 5G the chance to tell their side of the story. Because 5G is not the future, it is today’s reality, and understanding our rapidly changing world is critical for citizens, businesses and policymakers to make the right decisions for the future.

Join ETNO’s 5G Users Forum for an engaging discussion on what the latest connectivity standard can do for your sector.

© ETNO 2022
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