The State of 5G Development in the Baltics

  • 2021-05-31

The world is eagerly anticipating the rollout of a robust 5G network, and the Baltic states are no different.

There are several advantages to getting the network up and running. It can provide faster speeds, lower latencies, a larger number of connected devices, and a greater capacity for remote education and occupation. This is something that everyone is in desperate need of considering the state of the pandemic.

However, the Baltic states are quickly learning the rollout of the network is more complex than initially considered. For example, the benefits of the network could also be used for criminal activity such as espionage. There are even geopolitical and security concerns that require further attention.

So where does that leave 5G development in the Baltics? If you’re after an update on when you can expect to be utilizing the network, here’s what you need to know.

When is 5G Coming to the Baltics?

Some areas of the Baltics have already tested 5G networks, with the learnings getting shared with other states. Latvia was one of the first countries to launch the network, but some providers are still in the process of making the switch.

Lithuania plans to be ready by 2025, with the first stage of the rollout to commence in 2021. However, this is all dependent on the resolution with Russia over the digital territory they currently occupy.

Estonia also plans to be ready by 2025. Major cities should expect to have the 5G network by 2023. Delays due to the pandemic have impacted the rollout, but they expect to be back on track by the end of 2021.

What are the Concerns About 5G?

The key concern around the rollout of 5G is in relation to network security. All Baltic states are required to perform rigorous testing and evaluations on providers to ensure the networks are not only stable but also secure.

Every official from the Baltic states wishes for citizens to enjoy the benefits of a 5G network, such as utilizing high definition streaming services or enjoying games from the online casino industry without any fears of getting hacked. Residents should feel as secure accessing the network in the same way they do when using a VPN.

What Challenges are Yet to be Addressed?

One of the critical tasks left to do with developing regulatory measures for the screening of technologies, investments, supply chains, security services utilizing the 5G network. Estonia has begun to draft regulation, but further assessment is required.

The Baltics have always been successful in managing cybersecurity issues. However, there is a belief that officials need to enhance their technological competence and administrative capability before they commence implementing any laws or regulations in relation to how access to the 5G network is determined for organizations and corporations.