The telecom group O2 Czech Republic plans to remove all public pay
telephones by year’s end except for those it is obligated to keep in the
country’s smallest municipalities.
Out of the roughly 3,900 telephone booths currently in operation, some 1,150 will remain in municipalities with up to 200 inhabitants, an O2 spokesperson said.
Leading experts on cybersecurity from 32 countries are meeting in Prague at the 5G Security Conference held under the auspices of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. It is hoped that the meeting can produce a series of consensual recommendations on how to approach future cyber threats emerging from the 5G network.
Mobile operators will be given time until 2024 to launch their 5G networks
after a frequency auction takes place, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on
Thursday at an international conference in Prague, which is dedicated to
exploring the security, technical and economic aspects of switching to 5G.
Mr. Babiš said he expects the switch to the advanced wireless system to be even more revolutionary than the onset of mobile phones, stimulating economic growth, innovation and overall prosperity. However, he also stressed the extraordinary importance of ensuring the new network system’s security.
In a video message sent to the conference, European Commissioner for Security Julian King urged the importance of EU member states approaching 5G network security in a co-operative way, establishing a set of security standards.
A government bill on electronic communications aimed at reducing the cost
of mobile data in the Czech Republic has been approved by the lower house
in a first reading. Among other things the legislation would allow
customers to give only two days’ notice if they wish to end a contract
with an operator.
The minister of finance, Alena Schillerová, said the amendment should boost competition on the Czech market.
The issue of mobile data prices made the headlines after a gaff from the outgoing minister of industry and trade, Marta Nováková. She implied Czech consumers were responsible for the relative high cost of data in this country as they didn’t use the service enough.
In March and April the Czech Republic will hold talks with mobile telephony
operators from the US, Italy, France, the UK and South Korea about the
planned introduction of a fourth operator onto the Czech market, Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš said on Tuesday. An auction of frequencies should
take place by the end of December, with the winner expected to receive them
from the state in January or February 2020.
Mr. Babiš also said he would put forward a bill making it easier for customers to end their contracts with existing mobile operators in the Czech Republic.
Under his legislation, clients would be able to cancel their agreements after two days, instead of 10 at present, while they would be able to end a contract without paying any penalty after three months. Mr. Babiš is due to meet operators in two weeks’ time.
The relatively high cost of mobile data in the Czech Republic has been in the headlines after a minister suggested people should consume more if they want to pay less. The prime minister is set to discuss the matter with operators and there have been suggestions that the planned arrival of a fourth operator will help customers make savings.
The European Commission is considering proposals that would amount to a
de-facto ban on Huawei Technologies Co. equipment for next-generation
mobile networks, the news agency Reuters reported citing four senior EU
The issue is a matter of concern in many EU member states, including the Czech Republic, where the National Cyber and Security Information Agency recently issued a warning regarding Huawei products. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš ordered the Office of the Government to cease using mobile phones produced by the Chinese company and Czech experts are now analysing the possible security risks to the country’s infrastructure.
The question of whether to ban Huawei from the 5G mobile network has raised controversy since it could mean delays and extra costs, undermining the country’s efforts to stay competitive.
Prime Minister Babiš recently called for cyber-security concerns to be addressed and resolved at EU-level.