Good news normally gets less attention than bad news. Disinformation and misinformation on 5G are no exception. However, the reality on the ground reveals many untold stories about how local communities across Europe are seizing opportunity from 5G rollout on their territory.
Inspiring case studies from nine European countries
Industry reports show us appealing numbers: full 5G deployment in Europe could lead to 2.4 new million jobs by 2025, generate €113 billion per year in GDP and reduce CO2 emissions up to 15 percent. What hides behind these headlines is a myriad of real-life case studies that are blossoming across European communities.
Full 5G deployment in Europe could lead to 2.4 new million jobs by 2025, generate €113 billion per year in GDP and reduce CO2 emissions up to 15 percent.
In a 5G Guide that ETNO published together with the GSMA, we gathered some of the best practices across Europe. In France, the port of Marseille uses a 5G-enabled robot to keep the waters clean. In Italy, the historic city of Matera fashions virtual-reality visits to its 1,300-year-old monuments via 5G. In Germany, the hospital of Bonn manages surges in urgent patients thanks to seamless 5G communications. In Spain, the Ferrol shipyard performs precision ship construction by leveraging 5G to pull talent remotely and to keep on-site workers safe. In Portugal, the city of Aveiro creates hi-tech jobs with a 5G cluster, while Estonia’s TalTech University is inventing new 5G products in its ‘Smart Campus’.
These are just some of the examples gathered in our 5G Guide, which can inspire many more communities across Europe to become even smarter and to grow more sustainably.
Don’t forget disinformation
Since the coronavirus pandemic hit Europe in early 2020, 5G disinformation spreading online has provoked more than 288 arson attacks against antennas, as well as several episodes of violence against telecoms workers in 13 European countries, including 30 attacks in the first three months of this year (see the GSMA presentation here).
In a 5G Guide that ETNO published together with the GSMA, we gathered some of the best practices across Europe.
This reminds us that online disinformation and misinformation can have real-life consequences. Ultimately — just as with vaccines — it can even go as far as harming the strategic interests of entire nations and slowing down human progress.
On the one hand, institutions and companies have a moral obligation to discuss doubts, fears and all legitimate questions related to new technology. This is why our 5G Guide reviews all the available scientific data on electromagnetic fields and health. It does not shy away from questions on cancer-related fears or on environmental aspects. Scientific data shows us that 5G can be deployed safely, for humans and the environment.
False information, especially when deliberate, is highly harmful to our society.
On the other hand, we support the EU institutions’ efforts to tackle harmful online content and ensure that online platforms take up their share of responsibility in avoiding the intoxication of democratic debate. False information, especially when deliberate, is highly harmful to our society.
Bring local communities on board
5G is a groundbreaking technology. One that is already offering fresh socio-economic opportunities to local communities across Europe. European, national and local institutions should work hand-in-hand to discuss the opportunities, explaining the safety limits and address myths. The higher levels of government, as well as telecoms companies, cannot do this alone: we need to engage with mayors and their local communities. We should work together to realize the full potential of 5G, so that we can create new jobs and support a smarter, greener way of doing business across Europe.