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.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s tweet that he was lobbying for the opening of an Apple Store in Prague received much attention from Czech media. However, server iDNES.cz reports that the Czech PM also discussed the possibility of introducing American telecoms giant AT&T as the fourth major mobile phone operator in the country.
The Czech Telecommunication Office (ČTÚ) is due to begin testing the 5G network in September and plans to auction 700 MHz frequencies in the second half of 2019, in hopes of attacking a fourth mobile operator to increase competition – and reduce rates for individual customers, who pay more on average than other Europeans. In the meantime, a lone campaigner for unlimited data access is waging a daily battle via social media, using humour as a weapon.
The whole of the Prague Metro system should have mobile phone coverage by the year 2022 after the supervisory board of the city’s transport authority this week approved a deal with a consortium of mobile operators. The first stage of the rollout should begin on part of the C (or red) line this year.
Around seven out of 10 Czechs are getting discounted rates for Internet mobile phone use compared to than those being officially offered by the main providers, according to the business daily Hospodářské Noviny. The article puts a broad figure for the first time on the discounts whose extent had previously not been mapped or made public.