Warsaw, 22nd April 2020
Union on 5G: a massive opportunity for the Polish economy, a condition for the development of Industry 4.0, a necessity in the face of changes sparked by the pandemic
Technological progress, increased demand for digital services, and ultimately lasting changes in socio-economic life caused by the coronavirus pandemic – these are the main circumstances affecting the reality that 5G is not only a chance for Poland to accelerate its pace of economic development, but even as much as a necessity. To take full advantage of the available opportunities, we must launch this technology efficiently, quickly, and safely – these are the basic conclusions from the report by the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers on the opportunities and prospects associated with the implementation of 5G in Poland.
It is an undoubted fact that an increasing share of social and economic activity is being moved to the Internet. Of the 4.5 billion people online, as many as 300 million have used the web for the first time in the past year, so virtual traffic is getting increasingly heavy. Network usage patterns are also changing. While in 2010, less than 40% of mobile phone users in the United States used them to browse the Internet, it is estimated that 75% of Internet users will only browse it using smartphones by 2025. In light of such a dynamically increasing demand, it is hardly surprising that the technologies available today are slowly exhausting their possibilities. Moreover, Internet users expect progressively newer and more widely available services, whereas the industry is constantly moving towards digitisation and automation. Ultimately, the coronavirus pandemic sparked changes in job models and leisure time activities alike, which further increased network traffic. The implementation of the 5G standard seems to be the answer to all the above challenges.
“What the coronavirus has caused is that we spend significantly more time at home,” says Cezary Kaźmierczak, President of the Union. “Regardless of whether we watch TV series during this time or participate in business video conferences, we contribute to the increase of network traffic.
Due to its technical parameters, the 5G network will enable the development of new services and products that will substantially change the economic life in Poland. Autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things, augmented or virtual reality, remote production management – the widespread use of these possibilities, which make up the concepts of Industry 4.0 or the “fourth industrial revolution” announced in the past, will not be possible without the capacities guaranteed by the 5G technology.
“The Strategy for Responsible Development is a document which clearly outlines the desired direction of the Polish economy’s development,” says Jakub Bińkowski, Director of the Department of Law and Legislation of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers. “Our economy is to become one that is knowledge-based with high added value. Achieving this goal without the efficient implementation of the 5G network seems impossible”.
The Union’s experts emphasise in their report that swift action is essential. Other countries (both in Europe and Asia) have already undertaken important steps. The race for 5G is a global one. Therefore, we ought to focus on implementing this standard in an effective, fast, and secure manner. According to the authors of the report, to achieve this, it is necessary to ensure free competition as part of the selection of infrastructure providers, as well as to set restrictive technical security standards and to protect the system against dependence on one supplier.
“It is an obvious fact that 5G is a very big chance, but in the current situation, it already is a necessity to commence implementing this standard quickly. Universal access to high-speed Internet along with enabling entrepreneurs and consumers to use services based on the latest technologies is a prerequisite of our further development,” summarises Cezary Kaźmierczak.