The International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Telecom World 2019 conference held in Budapest was successful, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade said at the closing event of the conference held at the Hungexpo Centre in Budapest on Thursday.

Péter Szijjártó highlighted that this success is thanks to the cooperation of Hungary and the ITU. Digitisation has not only economic, but also social impacts, and it has been elevated to a political issue throughout the world, he added.

The government’s Hungary Connecting Programme clearly demonstrates its commitment to digitisation. Digitisation is not a vision for Hungary, but has become a part of everyday life. He said, according to its decision, the government will initiate talks about the possibility of Hungary hosting all ITU events between 2023 and 2026.

In Mr Szijjártó’s words, 5G will open a new chapter, equally politically, economically and socially. Today this new technology gives rise to many debates, and the government approaches this issue not from a political, but from a competitiveness point of view, and for competitiveness we need 5G, he pointed out.

He highlighted that in the area of 4G+ Hungary boasts a 91.4 per cent coverage rate, and the country is building on this comparative advantage. According to estimates, Hungary is more or less two years ahead of the European Union’s digitisation timetable. He added that they would like to keep up this pace, and to preserve Hungary’s advantage.

Therefore, the National Media and Infocommunications Authority published the tender for the sale of 5G frequencies a few weeks ago, he said. According to the Minister, by 2020 the industrial use of 5G will be reality world-wide, and in 2025 it will also be available in cities and by main transport routes.

Hungary would like to be at the regional or even European crossroads of new technologies, he said. The success of the economy is determined by the automotive industry. If we want to continue to remain as successful in economic growth as we are now, we will also have to use the latest automotive industry technologies, he added.

To this end, an automotive testing ground called ZalaZone has been inaugurated in Zalaegerszeg, and a smart city region has also been created. He stressed that in the future we will need stable, high-quality, effective and affordable 5G connection.

With digitisation, a new competition has started in which size or population figures will have no impact on success. Digital skills and the digital infrastructure will be the determining factors, he said.

According to Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, the advanced state of infocommunication in Hungary provides a good basis for Hungary to host the next conference; they have yet to negotiate with the Hungarian government about this.

Hungary is committed to the implementation of 5G; this technology is unavoidable, he stated. He believes it is a sign of progress that more than 150 small and medium-sized enterprises attended the conference. A number of new technologies will determine the digital future, including 5G, he stressed. He expressed hope that the cooperation of the organisation and Hungary will further strengthen in the future, and thanked Hungary for the successful organisation of the conference attended by more than 4,000 participants from 125 countries.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)