The Malta Independent 21 September 2019, Saturday

Request put forward to Speaker of the House to discuss 5G in Health Committee

Thursday, 12 September 2019, 12:08 Last update: about 9 days ago

Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri has formally asked the Speaker of Parliament to discuss 5G in the Health Committee, which will serve as a platform for discussion on this digital transformation.

Schembri said that 5G is recognised as a source which will bring about significant socio-economic benefits as well as will allow the deployment of innovative digital solutions.

“A public consultation on the feasibility of 5G has been carried out showing that in Malta, key stakeholders see the need for 5G and the services it will enable. However, discussions on this subject must be carried out on a wider spectrum and in a holistic manner, he said.

Schembri participated in the ITU – Telecom World 2019, organised by the Permanent Mission of Hungary to the United Nations and the International Telecommunications Union in Budapest, Hungary.

The aim of the ITU – Telecom World 2019 is to accelerate ICT innovation for social and economic development through exhibiting solutions, sharing knowledge and networking, whilst bringing together governments, corporations and tech SMEs to connect and work closely together on future policies.

When addressing the Ministerial Round Table with focus on the role of government in 5G and high capacity network deployment, Schembri explained how the government has over the past years facilitated the deployment of high-speed broadband networks in Malta, by ensuring a competitive environment and a favourable climate for increased investment and innovation in very high-capacity fixed and mobile networks. He added that Malta is a European leader in the availability of ultrafast fixed broadband on a nationwide basis.

Schembri explained that discussions on this digital transformation are constantly ongoing both locally and internationally. In fact, Malta has recently consulted on a new Radio Spectrum Policy Programme that aims at encouraging further 5G related investment in line with the new European Electronic Communications Code.

Schembri added that the government of Malta has adopted a proactive stance in embracing new technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, eSports and the Internet of Things, and is committed to invest heavily in digitising the public services to serve better its citizens.

He visited the exhibitors’ area in which big companies exhibited their prototype 5G related projects. He was accompanied by the Chief Executive Officer for the Malta Communications Authority Jesmond Bugeja.

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