5G User perspective and implementation – WS 15 2021
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5G is the most recent innovation on telecommunication networks. Vendors and telecom operators promise higher throughput, lower latency, computing in the network, and other features. The session will explore the opportunities and the challenges of 5G deployments from various perspectives such as Smart Cities, Public Institutions, Technology Sustainability, Platforms Transparency, Consolidation, Privacy, and Human Rights.
Will 5G benefit society with future-proof technology or rather stimulate consolidation and create risks for privacy and other human rights? This session will explore the potential upsides of the socio-technical impact of 5G such as its role in smart cities and smart communities, the digital divide, IoT, Industry and PA digitalization and edge cloud applications for a better environment monitoring, as well as potential negative impacts such as its impact on user privacy, environmental impact, decreasing networking transparency, and the possibility of an increase in fine grained censorship and filter bubbles. What are the actual business models that are driving 5G, and what is its prospect in current geopolitical configurations?
This session aims to be an interactive discussion between experts and stakeholders from Industry, Institutions and Society and seeks to further the debate on how regulation and technological development can create communication networks that function in the public interest.
Panel style opening remarks followed by questions through moderator, and extended open Q&A at end
- Introduction – moderator (5”)
- Introductory statement by EC (5”)
- Introductory remarks from 3-4 panel speakers (5” per speaker: 20”) on 5G and human impact
- Moderator questions to panel (10”)
- Q&A questions from audience through moderator (15')
- Wrap up and closing remarks (5')
The Eurodig community is invited to provide inputs on the themes highlighted in the session description
- 5G Human Rights Assessment
- Green 5G: Building a Sustainable World
- 5G Smart Cities Whitepaper
- Rhizomatica blog on 5G and digital divide
- Audit to Europarliament – Studies on health impact of 5G (Istituto Ramazzini)
- 5G mobile networks and health — a state-of-the-science review of the research into low-level RF fields above 6 GHz
Until 20 May 2021. Focal Point Focal Points take over the responsibility and lead of the session organisation. They work in close cooperation with the respective Subject Matter Expert (SME) and the EuroDIG Secretariat and are kindly requested to follow EuroDIG’s session principles
- Pierpaolo Marchese, Independent Consultant
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- André Melancia
- Roberto Gaetano, EURALO
- Pierpaolo Marchese, Independent Consultant
- Riccardo Nanni, University of Bologna
- Niels ten Oever
- Martina Segreto
- Fotjon Kosta, Coordinator of Albania IGF
- Marie-Noemie Marques, Orange
- Dr Achilleas Kemos, Policy Officer, European Commission, Future Connectivity Systems, DG CONNECT – Introductory remarks
- Achilleas is Policy Officer at the European Commission's Unit dealing with Future Connectivity Systems, with a particular focus on 5G standardization activities. He has been EC representative in the key technical bodies related to IP standards issues and IP address allocation policies (IETF and RIPE respectively) since 2012, bridging policy considerations with technology. In his career with the EC, he has dealt with issues on Internet Governance, managing the HLG on Internet Governance, ITU relations, Network and Information Security, and Digital broadcasting. He is currently co-chairing RIPE's Cooperation Working Group.
- Prof Fiorella Belpoggi, Istituto Ramazzini
- Biologist, Fiorella is Research Director at the Istituto Ramazzini in Bologna, a Centre for independent research and prevention of cancer and environmental diseases. In her career, she has held several responsibility positions in Academy and public health institutions. She has published more than 150 scientific papers.
- Amelia Andersdotter, FITUG e. V., former member of the EU Parliament
- Amelia is Director of Strategic Initiatives at CENTR, an umbrella organization for European country-code top level domain (ccTLD) registries, in Brussels. She is a technical privacy advisor to the Rethinking Data project at Ada Lovelace Institute in London. Since 2019, she is a digital rights advisor in the Acceptable Ads Committee too, and an active member of Swedish NGOs oriented towards the continuous improvement of privacy and data protection in law and technology.
Previously, she was a Member of the European Parliament in the 7th legislature on behalf of European Pirates and a member of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) of the Internet Governance Forum between 2013-2016.
- Théo Jaekel, Ericsson
- Théo is a Legal Counsel and Business and Human Rights expert at Ericsson, responsible for the company’s HR strategy and execution, including addressing risks throughout Ericsson’s value chain. Théo has previously led the human rights practice group at Vinge Law Firm, and worked as a researcher at Swedwatch, conducting research on business impacts on human rights in high-risk contexts. Currently, Théo also holds a position as Lecturer in International Law at Stockholm University, teaching Business and HR at the Faculty of Law, and is a Member of the Board of UN Global Compact Network Sweden.
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- Louise Marie Hurel, PhD Researcher, London School of Economics and Political Science
- Louise Marie is a PhD Researcher in Data, Networks and Society at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) focusing on technical security expertise, emerging security epistemologies, cybersecurity governance, and incident response. She is, too, Head of Digital Security Programme at Igarapé Institute, in Rio de Janeiro.
She has an MSc in Media and Communications (Data and Society) from the LSE, where she studied the governmentality of IoT Platforms.
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- Ilona Stadnik, Geneva Internet Platform
Reporters will be assigned by the EuroDIG secretariat in cooperation with the Geneva Internet Platform. The Reporter takes notes during the session and formulates 3 (max. 5) bullet points at the end of each session that:
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- relate to the particular session and to European Internet governance policy
- are forward looking and propose goals and activities that can be initiated after EuroDIG (recommendations)
- are in (rough) consensus with the audience
Current discussion, conference calls, schedules and minutes
See the discussion tab on the upper left side of this page. Please use this page to publish:
- dates for virtual meetings or coordination calls
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- For Europe, the development of high speed communications infrastructure, 5G in particular, is a strategic priority. The COVID-19 pandemic acted as a catalyst for a faster rollout.
- 5G networks may bring certain risks for security and privacy. We need to conduct a thorough assessment of all risks, including consequences for the future of work, health, and the environment, and involve industry and other stakeholders to address these issues when deploying 5G networks.
- We need to keep in mind economic and legal challenges that EU member states face – absence of cohesion in national spectrum policies and in security and safety requirements – which hinder the rapid deployment of 5G.
Find an independent report of the session from the Geneva Internet Platform Digital Watch Observatory at https://dig.watch/resources/5g-user-perspective-and-implementation.
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>> STUDIO: Good afternoon from Studio Belgrade again. I hope you had time to relax. If you were thinking of going away, don’t do it. It is way too hot. Let’s stay with good discussions around. We have an excellent topic if front of us for the next session. It is 5G user perspective and implementation. That will be moderated by Louise Marie Hurel, PhD and from the London School of Economics and Political Science. There are some rules. I’m sure you know them by now. But enter the room with your full name and affiliation. To ask a question, raise your hand in the Zoom room. You will be unmuted once the moderator gives you the floor. When speaking, switch on the video, if you can. Again, state your name and affiliation so we know who is speaking. Chat will not be stored or published, but it will be heavily used, at least I encourage you to use it. I will play the role of the chat moderator. So I will try to help Louise Marie in watching and being proactive in the chat. It is almost the end of EuroDIG, but don’t share the links, let people go to Gather.Town from the rooms. I will leave it to Louise Marie Hurel to introduce the speakers and outline of the session. Without further ado, the screen is yours.
>> MODERATOR: Thanks, I hope everyone can hear me okay. Thanks, as previously presented I’m Louise Marie Hurel, a PhD researcher at Department of Communications here at the London School of Economics. I’m also a coordinator of the think and do tank focused on multidimensional security. I have the real pleasure of welcoming you to this session, 5G user perspective and implementation. While the title says “user perspective” this will definitely touch upon the multiple challenges surrounding 5G as a technology itself and as increasingly part of our society.
To start out, I want to provide a scene‑setter as to what will guide our discussion over here today. Throughout the past few years, we have observed how 5G has become beyond a promise of enhanced connectivity, smaller latency and also a topic of geopolitical disputes, disinformation campaigns among many other things. And it promised to power a new generation of possibilities for Smart Cities and these technologies are baked into our everyday activities even if we don’t notice it. Even it is part of walking through the streets and knowing that 5G is underpinning our network communications.
What some of the discussions tend to obfuscate is the impact of the technology and the impact it might have to individuals. And human rights as most importantly, this technology also k kind of expands digital divides, raises a series of concerns that I’m sure we will touch upon while we’re here today. The overarching question in the background of the discussion we’re having in this session is really, will 5G benefit society? With future‑proof technology or rather stimulation the consolidation and great risks of privacy and other human rights? Definitely, I have an amazing group of experts over here that are extremely qualified to talk about this. I will give a brief overview. First, we have Dr. Achilleas Kemos. He’s the Policy Officer, European Commission, Future Connectivity Systems. We have also Professor Fiorella Belpoggi. Fiorella is a biologist, Istituto Ramazzini, Biologist, Bologna center for independent research on cancer and environmental diseases. We also have in this session, Amelia Andersdotter. Which is the Director of Director of strategic initiatives and we have Théo Jaekel legal Counsel and business rights at Ericsson. He’s part of the strategy and execution. We have an amazing lineup. To give a quick overview of how the session will run. The first moment, we’ll have a brief statement, five to seven minutes by Dr. Achilleas Kemos, and then the other panelist speakers will talk more about their own research and experience in these areas. Then we’ll have some questions from me. Then questions from the audience and then we’ll close it up so you all are on the same page. As I said, I’m not the expert here. Definitely we have a great lineup. I will pass it over to Dr. Achilleas. Please.
>> Achilleas Kemos: Thank you, Louise Marie Hurel. Good afternoon everyone. Ladies and gentlemen. I’m glad to talk about 5G here at EuroDIG. This is an issue I raised five years ago in the RIPE meeting of Madrid. I believe in the strategy for digitizing the industry we should address 5G in the entirety upon especially the way the Internet Governance community, there are new ways of delivering Internet services. It is important to have address them. More so with the pandemic that confirmed the strategic nature of high-speed communication infrastructure as they got our economy and society going during the crisis. The pandemic as acted as a catalyst in the society with citizens and businesses using more digital services. That are save shaping the way we connect, communicate, and access news and shop and trade, the way that we apply and find job. The way that we buy our train or plane tickets or find accommodations and many, many more.
In order to achieve smoothly, rapidly this Digital Transformation, we need suitable digital infrastructure without ubiquitous connectivity, Europe will not reach the digital decade objectives announced in March.
The targets set by the Commission by 2030 are gigabit connectivity for every house and office in Europe and 5G coverage for all populated areas including rural areas where people live.
We also aim to deploy 10,000 edge nodes in the European Union. I would like to signal the efforts that Europe and European Commission has done about research.
EU has been a global leader for 10 years now, since 2011 when the Commission launched the first pioneering research and research action in 5G. This was followed by the setting up of the 5G public‑private partnership. It is still the largest 5G research and innovation initiative in the world. With 700 million euro of public funding. In terms of deployment, we – the Commission launched and adopted the 5G Action Plan in 2016 to support the deployment and take up of the 5G networks across EU and promote the wider digitization of key industries with innovative business models. Now, for further research, for the 6G area now, we had the first projects in 2018 under the horizon 2020 program. For the new framework program, the horizon Europe, the Commission has proposed, the 5G and 6G research should be carried by an institutionalized partnership by joint undertaking on Smart networks and services. It is the supply chain for the European capabilities and domains for devices and distributed computing in addition to the domain that is now the classic domain of the EU world class expertise. These are just participation of the so‑called vertical industries. To leverage Europe’s strong industrial capabilities and support of the creation of the complete European digital ecosystems. Also, as Louise Marie mentioned, we have the security closures on the toolbox and security requirements are met and exclusion of legal entities by non-EU countries.
So 5G has to be one of the key European assets in the race to digital leadership. Europe has got the know‑how, we’re leaders in the mobile networking infrastructure technology. But now we must commit to make the bold investments that translate this know‑how into a competitive high-quality network deployed all over Europe.
So our plan is to have large‑scale deployment of 5G combined with edge computing and distributed artificial intelligence. This will drive the pace of a digital innovation. We’ll see in this decade, especially in the so‑called vertical industries.
So the 5G networks have to be also secure, and this is one of the highest priorities of the Commission, as these are critical infrastructures. So the 5G cybersecurity toolbox need to be fully implemented in all Member States.
To conclude, the digital targets and 5G in particular, Europe is aiming to ensure that its citizens and businesses have access to a choice of state‑of‑the‑art technologies to make their life better, safer and greener. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. I think this is an amazing way of kicking off our discussion and having a panoramic view of all of the initiatives that the European Commission has been doing in this area. Without further ado, I will pass it over now to Professor Fiorella Belpoggi. Just a reminder, we will have the Q&A later on. So I’m already kind of making my notes. Professor Fiorella Belpoggi, over to you.
I’m not sure whether she has connected yet. But then I’ll just pass it over to Amelia. Amelia?
>> Amelia Andersdotter: Yes, thank you. My name is Amelia. You heard in the introductions I wear many hats. I work as Director of Strategic Initiative at CENTR the Council of European National Top‑Level Domain Registries. You may have run across them at EuroDIG and might have run across them at ICANN, the global equivalent. However, I have been a member of European Parliament. I used to work with article 19 a human right organization based in London on 5G standardization among other things and human rights. And currently, I’m representing FITUG a German end user organization that is focusing on the rights and opportunities of digital end users since the 1990s. I would like to thank FITUG for using their name in this discussion.
My focus on 5G is the rights and opportunities of end users in Europe and globally to make sure and benefitting from the opportunities of upgraded telecommunications infrastructure. I think what I can contribute here is a perspective on how telecommunications infrastructure by and large still is very national. One of the critical challenges, we have an infrastructure that is globally connected and enables us to pass information around the planet seven times in one second. It is different for end consumers in two different countries to talk to each other unhindered. The major problem for mobile networks and telecom at large with spectrum policies, regulations and restrictions on user freedoms is what we can technology ensure the availability of the possibilities we don’t seem to be able to legislatively be able to do so. It is not a policy, it influences the European actors to become industrial successful on a global level.
Because Europe is still 27 isolated markets that all have their own spectrum policy, all have the content management strategies, all have obligations on web services. Simply isn’t that easy for network equipment managers based on the European Union to be successful. It is not easy to create a regional cohesion to inspire loyalty with our national or regional level champions.
This is something that is often overlooked by the European Commission and Member States when they set up ambitious goals for the future. It is one thing to say by 2030 we have everyone at gigabit, but we need to lay the foundations where this infrastructure is useful to everyone and not just throwing money in the sea.
So I hope this is a sufficient point to start out with.
I would like to raise another point related to 5G mobile networks when I was working with article 19 I came across it. It is related to security and legislation. Again, regulatory framework that governors how relationship with our commercial providers and Governments. One of the most positive dangers I have seen in 5G network equipment development is the meticulous emphasis placed by engineers from all sorts of companies, regardless of the geographical origin of ensuring better privacy and security features in mobile equipment. It was brought to my attention at some point during my journey through the technical standards body that developed 5G technologies, the problem with developing and enabling security features in mobile network infrastructure isn’t that it is technically possible, it is that it isn’t legally permissible. Telecommunication operators, for instance, are not allowed to buy equipment that insecure and deploy it on the public network and not allowed to buy secure services for the end users. What they see with security and privacy features is because many Governments in Europe and beyond are experiments with spectrum auction strategies that enable localized deployments for networks for industrial players and is missed type of computing that we heard kills talk about. These private networks better privacy and security guarantee than the public network for consumers. But we want to sit down and reflect in European Union if we are global champions of data protection and holding the flag up high for privacy and security of citizens is it reasonable that our mobile network manufacturers that we see world leading, have to escape to private networks to actually benefit from the big expert in the areas where we are champions. Me, I say this is not a reasonable expectation. But I would very much like to hear the thoughts of other panelists, especially of Achilleas later on. And I will leave it at that because I think I already sort of ... said a lot of things.
>> MODERATOR: Perfect, thank you, Amelia for the excellent points. I think it provides an interesting perspective on kind of going from a higher‑level discussion at the European Commission and actually seeing how can we start asking questions from a user perspective of how is this useful when we think about kind of the implementation side of it? Is it feasible from security and privacy perspective, which I think kind of provides a nice bridge to the next speaker? Which is Théo Jaekel. Theo, if you would like to unmute yourself?
>> Théo Jaekel: Yes, hello, can you hear me? Great. So thank you very much for the invitation and opportunity to speak here today on this interesting and important panel. So my name is Théo Jaekel my role at Ericsson is to drive our human rights strategy and be responsible for human rights across the companies. So that includes our own operations our supply chain and end use of technology and potential misuse. And that’s maybe the main issue we’re discussing today as well. So of course, at Ericsson, we’re at the center of the rollout of 5G. And see a lot of the benefits that have already been raised at what 5G can bring. But today, I’m going to talk about a recent publication that we published earlier this year. That is a 5G human rights assessment that we worked on throughout last year. Where we took the approach of the U.N. guiding principles to look at 5G from our perspective as a vendor to identify the potential risks and impacts across the value chain and see what actions both we can take as a company, but also identify where there is much needed industry collaboration and how to move ahead with addressing some of the impact areas. There is information on the website if you want to read the whole report. To give you some information about the approach. We started this work in 2020. And we previous conducted country‑level human rights assessments. This has been triggered by, for example, reentering a market. Changing operational requirements in certain countries, emerging risks, so on.
But given that we of course play a key role in the rollout of 5G and we’re now in the early stages of that rollout, we identified the need to take a more modest approach. Not just a one‑country specific point of view.
And of course, using the U.N. guiding principles, we early on of course identified the need to take a full value chain approach. We look at everything from sourcing, so the product that we source that are then used in the rollout of 5G and potential risks that could be involved in that sourcing process and manufacturing process. But also our own operations and end user technology. Many areas identified may not be new to 5G. They exist already in mobile networks. Our perspective in the work we did and in the report was to think about how these impact areas and risks are relevant in maybe new ways because of 5G. Could there be a heightened risk because of 5G or could risks materialize in a different way because of what 5G enables? Um ... if you read the report, you will see it is a very wide range of issues. We look at everything from sourcing of the minerals and metals that are going to be used in 5G products and the issues that we see that there is maybe an increased demand for certainly minerals and metals that might come from high-risk countries for example.
We also look at issues of occupational health, safety, surveillance, capabilities that 5G enable. So it is really a wide scope here. Just to give you a few examples of maybe a little bit more detail on some of the impact areas that have also been raised earlier here on this panel. For example, the issue of IoT and privacy. So the ubiquitous use of IoT devices of course created new challenges from a privacy perspective. One issue is introducing new players to the ICT ecosystem. The companies that are creating the devices and new types of connectivity that might not be used to issues of dealing with privacy, Government demands and other restrictions that companies such as operators have dealt with for some time. There is a question there of how we make sure that the new players are aware of these risks and what role we, as companies can play in raising that awareness and making sure that when having business engagements with the partners to build in privacy protections and human rights considerations. We also look at, for example, issues of livelihood and job transitions, so of course, 5G will enable automation, which is in many cases, can lead to positive impact from climate perspective, create jobs in certain ways, but also of course impacting people’s livelihoods. Certain jobs will potentially disappear. Here we’re asking ourselves if we are enabling that transition, what role can we play as a company to partner with other players in the ICT ecosystem and other stakeholders to enable a just transition there and help people to find new jobs and maybe new ways of finding livelihoods and so on.
And then we have also looked at issues of digital inclusion. So the COVID pandemic has very highlighted the need of connectivity and also how connectivity can impact people in different way, depending on if you have equal access. So issues such as being able to work safely from home or children to continue to access their education. Have access to healthcare, for example, so it is very important not just to think about digital inclusion between developed and developing countries but also within countries and for example, the difference between urban and rural areas. So these are a few of the examples. I can’t go into all of them. But I just wanted to kind of stress really the importance here in our methodology, our approach, going ahead now. Because we really see this report only as a first step. We’re far from done. This is a good foundation for us to have identified these issues. The new issues will emerge. We will have to continue to work across the industry and with other stakeholders to continue to address these issues.
So we’re now looking at how we can further deepen the stakeholder engagements that we did during the assessment process itself. We’re looking at potential regional stakeholder dialogue, for example.
And build further awareness around this. We have done our work to some extent here from a vendor perspective. We want to also incentivize others to think about these impact areas and risks, maybe from their perspective. I mean, what roles can an operator play? What roles can a platform company play? The device manufacturers? Governments of course as well. We hope this can be a starting point for further discussions and engagements across the industry. I think I will stop there. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Theo. I think we’re now – I’m not sure whether Professor Fiorella is already connected?
I don’t think so. I will kindly ask if the organizing team, if they can actually notify me in case that happens. I’d be happy to provide the space for her to talk. But while she doesn’t connect, I would like to already jump into our kind of questions. I guess as I foresaw, at the beginning of the discussion, we’re covering different complementary and kind of sometimes even different perspectives of the implementation of 5G. Be it from the operate or perspective, user perspective, or be it from a more strategic perspective of actually out lining and implementing a political and strategic agenda in this case for the European Region. So I guess my cross‑cutting question to all of you, which is the question of the moment, right? Which I think is what is the particular impact? I think you mentioned briefly in your talks, but how do you see the impact of COVID‑19 with all of – you know, many populations and many, you know, many people really needing to immediately migrate to online environment being you know different services, having to migrate online. In a faster way. What do you see the impact? How do you see the impact of COVID‑19 in actually the implementation of 5G in ensure, say from Achilleas’ perspective if the goal of 2030 is met, an impact in that sense? From Amelia, what is the impact of the forced push online? It is not just about connectivity. It is not just about being online or just about having access to network services. It is also about ensuring that there is kind of another discussion coming together and we are taking seriously the standards that are built in, baked into the technologies. I think also from the perspective, perhaps of Theo, just kind of trying to understand the operator side. You know, the implementation of the technology and ensuring from an Ericsson perspective, what was the perceived impact of COVID‑19 in this discussion? Because if I am not mistaken the study that he mentioned, it was published before COVID or during COVID. So it would be great to hear you all on that. Then I will ask another series of questions. I will leave it there. Um... yes.
>> Amelia Andersdotter: Can you give us the order of interventions.
>> MODERATOR: We’ll go the same order of the panel.
>> Achilleas Kemos okay. Thank you. For us, what we see is the digitalization is accelerating. We have to adopt that. The 5G Action Plan had already in the way targets. We can say if they are ambitious or trying in a way to get Member States going like in a way having already the first implementation in the 5G every Member States by 2018‑2020 having a full deployment by 2025 across the main roads and so on. But we have seen the way that now the pandemic modified in the way that we work in a big extent, the way that many things happen now that they are digital. Clearly there is an acceleration. And this is, in a way, something that in Europe, we tried to do it in a way that it is simply not just a higher speeding away. But it is occupying in a way all to services in a way or the verticals as we say, in a way that it interacts with the various industrial sectors. Like industry. Like health. Like transportation. Intelligent mobility. So also, n it is in the way the new parameter taking cybersecurity much more into account. So this is also in a way the part of our strategy to maintain and pursue to having a living position in 5G and 6G research. But increase and accelerate deployment so that there is this opportunity for European economy and society to take advantage of this digitization and 5G in particular.
>> MODERATOR: Amelia?
>> Amelia Andersdotter: I’m trying to look a bit at the chat at the same time. So going back. Firstly, the impact of COVID, I think what we saw in the beginning of the COVID pandemic when a lot of people started working at their homes is we don’t in general have an issue with the mobile infrastructure network. We have a problem with the wired infrastructure that runs between the base stations. There is sometimes we tonight have a problem with the Internet exchanges. But there are some Member States where there has been persistently underinvestment in wired infrastructure for the past 20 or 30 years because telecommunication operators are seeking on the old infrastructure and they had on the countryside some issues with connectivity. Pie and large the infrastructure is extremely good. We have good connectivity there is investment, there is strategies set forth by the telecommunications framework of 1997 has been working where implemented. I think Europe is in a good position to supply the kind of end‑to‑end type of architecture that the Internet foresees. And 5G technology somehow move mobile technologies closer towards. Because this is also part of the mobile network evolution. The mobile network started out very monolithical. The centralized Behemoths that were modelled on the old telecom networks from the 1920s and now throughout 3G, 4G, and now 5G we’re seeing the Internet‑ification of mobile networks that I think ultimately serves interests of the consumers.
As another point you raised, connectivity is always somehow political. We cannot talk about investments by the European Commission for instance, without saying also they exist in a political framework. European Commission doesn’t do things with no purpose at all. Saying things are not political is saying they’re purposeless. Any type of investment in European skill players and connectivity for our citizens, enabling them to share across borders or work from home, whatever it is, it is expressions of an intent for society to function in one way or another.
But there was one question that I’ve caught in the chat, I think from Belgrade, from our supreme host, am I correct? About virtualization of 5G and moving from specialized hardware to off the shelf hardware increasing the role of software and Cloud. Many of the friends say I’m boring for having this perspective, but historically speaking networks and connectivity have been shifting from centralized model to decentralized model approximately every 20 years since the 1960s. We’re in now a sort of centralization period again. And I think this moving from specialized hardware to you know, increasing the role of software, this will increase the single points of failure with the hardware. Software defined networks decreases the amount of hardware investments done per state. The hardware that is deployed will be owned boy fewer actors and we may be seeing even more consolidation of the telecommunications markets like in Austria, Ireland, Germany a bunch of networks from four network providers to three.
But we also assume that maybe with 6G, for instance, in 10 or 20 years, we will again experience some form of decentralization.
Me personally, I would argue the European Union with all the different markets, peoples, different political ambitions, and industries, is a market that is more suitable to more decentralized model, perhaps. It would be, if I could desire some industrial policy ambition from the European Commission, it would be one that – and also from Member States Governments, France, Germany, in particular Italy. It would be one that better caters to the need for decentralized efforts in the European Union and make sure everyone feels included in the network aspects that are being done.
>> MODERATOR: Excellent, I will go to Theo and then Fiorella.
>> Théo Jaekel: On the issues of COVID, I raised some of the issues identified in the report. As the previous speakers said it did accelerate to some extent the rollout. What is important and we considered is in that rollout both consider the impact areas we have already identified while the report was published now this year, we did the work throughout the pandemic to not let the acceleration of the rollout mean that we do not address the potential impacts and risks in the right way. So that is of course important to keep in mind still. And also, of course, more from health and safety point of view, people that work with the rollout and the people that work in the field and installation, to consider, of course, their safety during the pandemic to ensure that they are not put at risk when working on – in the field. That was a big consideration for us and our customers as well. So I think I will stop there to hand over back before we start answering maybe the questions in the chat. Thanks.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, perfect, Theo. This is a question to start the imagines over here. I would like to welcome Fiorella now that she connected. Fiorella, just to give you a panoramic view. I mean, we already made a couple – all of the participants have already made their interventions. I think you have a very interesting perspective coming from the health sector, right? From health research. And if you could say, in five minutes, just to kind of give us a scene‑setter of your research in this area with regards to 5G. And then we’ll go to general questions, if that’s okay?
>> Fiorella Belpoggi: Thank you very much for this invitation. Good afternoon to all of you. I am bringing here the presentation I had just one month ago at the Stoa Workshop on 5G. I prepare the report for the Stoa department. And I will be brief here. Briefer here. Because I had a quarter of hour. And the matter is very complicated.
But I would – I would do my best in order to present to you the main results of my research.
So I try to share my presentation. I hope you can see it. I will skip – do you see it.
>> MODERATOR: Yes. Yes, we can see it. It is five minutes to give us a starter of the conversation to kick off the discussion.
>> Fiorella Belpoggi: Yes, I skip all the part, 5G is different aspect. I would like to say that 5G doesn’t represent a new technology. As a rule. So there was a misinterpretation among the public about this new technology. In fact it was not a new technology. It was an impact it had on the general public. So what was wrong I think from the beginning is to consider only the [audio skipping] effect. Disregarding completely a lot of outcomes that regarded the known terminal effect that are proven by thousands of papers. So as example, in order to examine two of the endpoints, the carcinogenicity and the reproductive developmental effect, I had to screen more than 8,000 papers. We have data. The data not so strong, but I have to underline, we are not facing a strong (?) urgent. I in the past, 40 years ago, I was in the team that studied benzene or formaldehyde. So I know what are the strong carcinogens and strong issues. This is not strong agent. It is weak, I can say very weak. But heat is involved in more than 7 billion people. So the impact from the point of view of public health good be very loud. We have to pay attention. Because after examining the 8,000 papers I mentioned and dividing the different radio frequency in two different categories. The ones that we have among us that include also the 700 megahertz and 3600 megahertz, that are the first to lower frequency by 5G. I had results that are encouraging all of us to go in deep in these results and to look at the real mechanism that could be as a basis of our evaluation. In order to be transparent and also consistent with area, we used the criteria used by IRK. When – IARC. When they are examining all of the chemical or physical agents present in our environment. So in integrating the evidence in animal studies with the one in epidemiological studies, we reached these results. As regard the lower frequency, there is nowadays a sufficient evidence of the induction of carcinogenic process above all in naval cells. The cells of the brain and cells of the peripheral nervous system. This was a classification from IARC in 2011 that was as a possible carcinogen. But why? Because there was not at that time any adequate study on animals. Now we have two studies. One from the program in the U.S. and one from the smaller if compared to the policy program laboratory. I think the second in the world after the American laboratory is impact on occupational and environmental health. So this strong result was the evidence of hearsay Schwann cells that are nervous cells that are in all our billion dollars. We have seen tumors of Schwann cells in acoustic nerves of human and fascia nerves and also observed the tumors in the heart. Heart is one of the most active from that nervous point of view in our body. It is not so strange towards this organ as a target organ. No data were available on the contrary regarding the millimetric waves. Centimetric and millimetric waves. The evidence in humans and both in animals was sufficient evidence on the fertility in male. So there is a particular effect of radio frequency on the maturation and in the quality of sperm. So this is – was observed both in humans and in animal studies. So the overall evaluation was done as a carcinogenic agent in humans. As I said a weak carcinogen, not a strong carcinogen, but involving billion of people. No study about millimetric waves. And there is a clear effect on the sperm in males that could prevent us to take the [audio skipping] form close to our body. Above all in the male gender. And again, as regard the reproductive effect for the centimetric and millimetric waves. There are not adequate study.
So if I have time, there are some policy options that we as scientists suggest. But this could be a matter of discussion later. So tell me if I have to continue or not.
>> MODERATOR: No. It would be good if we could discuss this a little bit more in the Q&A. But I will also note that both Professor Fiorella’s presentation and the report from Ericsson are available in our wiki. So if you are interested in looking at the whole presentation and the details of the research from Professor Fiorella, it is also available there. Yes, Professor, it is best if we now went to the Q&A and have time for the discussion. Thank you very much.
>> Fiorella Belpoggi: Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Excellent. I see that Vladimir has his hand up. Please, feel free.
>> STUDIO: Interesting overview. There were a couple of questions that came before this discussion on health and at least one question, I guess there will be more on health issues. I will briefly run through a couple of questions, and you can see who wants to respond on which one. The first one is from Neal, which touched upon the transparency of the 5G networks. He mentions we will see more optimization, optimize networks and the new functions to what extent the new networks will be less transparent and then we could know how to understand the impact on the society. The second from Natalia relates to a network neutrality or the quality of service, in a way, where she questions if the network slicing provides the ability of different bandwidths or qualities assigned to operator. Is there a risk we might end up with lower quality Internet for poor and higher quality for rich people? She also mentions the BEREC statement that 5G is open with the net neutrality if you wish. And it is mentioned or asked Achilleas what is the European Commission’s assessment of how 5G could actually impact the jobs across Europe in the next decades?
And the last comment from Neal was related to health issues, where he mentioned that – he acknowledges that there is certainly the risk of radio frequencies on health. But he underlines the point the importance of the signal strength that has to be taken into consideration. So I guess it could also be the question for the Professor, to what extent the analysis and research actually took into consideration the signal strength which might be lower in 5G networks, other than the previous generations? And back to you, Louise Marie.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Vladimir. In terms of how we go about it, because we cover a lot of things in these questions. Leave it open the question from Neal, it is a cross‑cutting question in thinking about the automation. And how much, you know, algorithmically optimized solutions can actually make it less knowable, less transparent. I will leave that to all of you, whichever of you would like to respond. But I’ll just pass it over and do a kind of round of answers. And you please feel free to comment on whichever question you feel you are more acquainted with. I feel, for – there is a specific question for Achilleas. So please feel free to go ahead and talk about that. Let’s do the same round. Achilleas, Amelia, Theo and Fiorella.
>> Achilleas Kemos: Maybe to reply to the specific question. We had a study date of about five years now. It is not too fresh that was about socioeconomic impact of 5G and where we had the contractors to calculate the evaluating the impact on some specific areas like connected and automated mobility, health industry. That 5G would create 2.3 to 4 million jobs in the EU. Of course, I think these figures should be reviewed more upwards as we see now, there are estimates that 5G is offering opportunity to grow the income of – to double the income of network operators with all of the activity that will be digitized and is on top of this activity. The normal activity of telecom carriers. The study on our side, if you check on socioeconomic impact on 5G, you should be able to find. For the specific question about the impact on employment.
The jobs, then for the transparency and so on, I have to say also this is an issue raised to ask quite a lot from law enforcement agencies, they’re afraid that 5G will be less transparent and much more difficult to follow and trace in a way of malicious users. I don’t know. I think the technical community is doing a good job to offer solutions in a way in terms of security and privacy. But also in terms of how to trace malicious users. It is the way it is done and what is the framework in the way that is governed or distant.
>> MODERATOR: Excellent. Amelia.
>> Amelia Andersdotter: I wanted to comment on the network neutrality. You might object afterward what I am saying. I don’t think it is necessarily a big topic for net neutrality. That is the relationship between the telecommunications operator and customer and how to deal with you know service supply. We have legislation in the European Union that says the telecommunications operator to deal with customers fairly need some terms in place. What BEREC is saying is that 5G in principle does not disable a telecommunications operator from having fair dealing from end customers. Which I think is correct. The fact that you can have for instance, special iced applications running on a centralized hardware 5G network infrastructure with compartmentalized software, to virtualize network function, that are applicable for instance, in industrial environments, factories when you are not dealing with a private end consumer on the public network communicating with other private individuals. I think that is perfectly in line with net neutrality, it is not impacting the population between poor and rich people. We all agree that different companies, they’re not the private end consumer. They want to do something in their factory which is specific. That is not the same as if I’m talking with my mom or talking with my partner. But also coming back to the transparency issue, which is a big topic for end consumers, and the point raised by Achilleas. I think law enforcement, they’re a bit disingenuous. I think we need a stronger political will in the European Union. What the structure is there for to have end‑to‑end encryption for all connections to travel through the network. This made law enforcement go up in arms like why end‑to‑end encryption. It caused Ericsson to release a point where we will have end‑to‑end connections between your toothbrush and centralized router but not for when you are communicating with your mom. That is interesting. Somehow the communications of my toothbrush are more valuable in terms of security than my communications. All of this apparently – this is documented in the standard email body of standardization. It is because law enforcement agencies in one European country doesn’t want to call other law enforcement in another European country. They’re afraid the end‑to‑end encryption will cause the call to hop between France and Czech Republic without being decrypted at the border. Isn’t that a bit stupid? Shouldn’t we in 2021 be at the case, if French police want to surveil someone with an enforcement measure and surveil between French and Czech citizens, they ask for surveillance or lawful intercept. I think this network that they forced is bizarre and incomprehensible why they don’t set their foot down against law enforcement in this case.
>> MODERATOR: I’m mindful of the time. Theo and Fiorella if you can provide your answers to the questions, please.
>> Théo Jaekel: Sure. I will try to be brief. First on the net neutrality and network slicing point, I agree with Amelia. The point is here on what the network slicing will be used for. Having said that, however, we identify as is the case with any functionality or technology the potential of misusing the functionalities. We have raised that issue in our report. That of course network slicing is not supposed to be used to create this kind of differentiation between different types of access for people to communication or the Internet. It is exactly for being able to differentiate between different types of data packs. Streaming Internet. Streaming Netflix and having cybersecurity measures in the network are very different and might need different slices, for example.
And then on Neal’s point. I agree with the transparency point of view. I mean, one issue is of course what we have tried to do with the report is to be transparent about the impact areas and risks. If more actors in the ICT system can do this, it is one way of highlighting different potential risk areas.
And then we also need to be prepared for emerging risks of course. And to the algorithmical point of view. We also work a lot with transparency issues connected to AI. And I think the work the EU is doing on the AI regulation to build in trustworthy AI requirements are of course an important part of that transparency. Thanks.
>> MODERATOR: I’m very sorry. We are totally out of time. And I’m going to apologize to Professor Fiorella. If any of you have any questions directed specifically at Professor, we’ll pass them to her. We’ll pass it to Ilona Stadnik our Rapporteur, so she can provide an overview of the key points of the discussion. Ilona Stadnik.
>> Las Ilona Stadnik: Thank you. Good morning, I’m Ilona Stadnik, I’m the Geneva Internet Platform reporter on this session. You see on the slide, brief three points that summarizes the key messages that you produced during the Workshop. I will be reading them out one by one. If there is like rough, general consensus that is fine.
Anyway, you will have the opportunity to comment on all the messages and propose edits and additions afterwards. So all of the messages will be placed on the EuroDIG platform. You have to look for the information from the EuroDIG Secretariat for that. To the messages.
For Europe, the development of the high‑speed communication infrastructure 5G in particular is of a strategic priority. The COVID‑19 pandemic acted as a catalyst for the faster rollout. Any objections to this?
I don’t see shaking heads. Okay. 5G networks may bring benefits to the user and also risks for the security and privacy. We need to conduct a thorough assessment for all risks including consequences of future occupation, health, environment and involve industry and stakeholders to address these issues while deploying 5G networks. Any objections or corrections?
Okay. Final. We need to keep in minds economic and legal challenges that EU Member States face, absence of cohesion and national spectrum policies, security, and safety requirements, all these hinder the rapid development of 5G.
Okay. Silence means rough consensus, I guess. But anyway, as I said, you will have the opportunity to comment on them later.
>> MODERATOR: Excellent. Excellent. Thank you all for the participation. Thanks specifically to the Org Team for making this possible. To many of those that were part of this process. Thanks a lot.
Thanks to all participants.
>> STUDIO: Thank you, Louise Marie. And all the participants. I’m sure you could have continued for another two hours. Time for breaks. Get out of the Zoom room if you want. Return to Gather.Town, mingle around, get a coffee in real space, and come back for the final session of this day and this studio. Which is competition in the digital ecosystem Europe and beyond at 4:30. See you soon.