Current Affairs

Riga in Latvia: A Regional Hub for Hybrid Events

In November 2020 the third edition of 5G Techritory Forum will bring together, in Riga, the decision-makers in the 5G field, establishing the Latvian capital as a regional hub for hybrid events of all types and formats.

This year the 5G Techritory Forum will take place in an innovative format: it will be a hybrid meeting thanks to a brand-new technology developed in Latvia and launched for the occasion. 

“This new sophisticated platform is developed and soft-launched from September onward by 3K Management, a Latvian Event company,” said Janis Jenzis, Chairman Of The Board at Riga Tourism Development Bureau – LIVE RīGA.“It will raise event standards to allow true ‘phygital’ experiences — interaction between physical and digital attendees. And what event could be better suited for such a launch as the 5G Techritory Forum with its high-end technical standards!”

The main events will be broadcasted live from the Latvian capital on November 11-12. 5G stands for “fifth generation technology standard for cellular networks” and is, as the former Latvian Minister of Economic Affairs Ralfs Nemiro said, “one of the technological achievements that can significantly change our lives. We need to create the basis for collaboration and the laws required to implement the technology and innovations.”

Political & regulatory

The forum in Riga is the first and only conference that deals with the political and regulatory side of 5G — in contrast to the usual focus on technology at other 5G conferences. As technology evolves rapidly, the necessary adaptation of laws and regulations appear to be lagging behind, even if these are urgently needed to enable cooperation between countries and governments.

No country can implement 5G on its own — it is too expensive, too complex and has too many cross-border aspects. VASES, the Electronic Communications Office of Latvia, therefore took the lead to promote cooperation between countries in the Baltic States. The aim of the conference is to bring together the driving forces behind 5G decision-makers all across Europe: telecommunications operators, network operators, politicians, bureaucrats and lawyers as well as everyone involved in 5G networking solutions. 

The 5G Forum was first initiated in 2018. In 2019, the date of the Nordic Council of the Ministers’ Meeting in Riga was even changed, so that ministers could attend both events. The Meeting, as well as a first “Policy-Maker Hackathon,” a format inspired by the start-up scene, resulted in a collection of solutions which were presented at a “Stakeholder Round table” to the European Commission.*

Register here for the conference. For more information about Latvia and Riga: liaa.gov.lv

At the 2019 Forum, many concrete activities were set in motion – however, the rollout of 5G worldwide has not developed as expected. So, the main task in November will be to analyze and review the reasons for these delays and to find solutions to overcome obstacles. These hurdles are partly due to the lack of resources, but also to the speed with which political decisions are made — they can be slow, and, when it comes to 5G, more radical solutions are needed! 

Deep Technology

The future of business in Latvia lies in the so-called “deep technology”, smart city developments and cellular network technologies and drone traffic management. In this context, 5G will play a very important role for the economic growth of the country.

In Latvia, 5G is already available in several test beds. The local 4G network is very strong, compared to other countries. It was strong enough for a demo by LMT (Latvijas Mobilais Telefons) during the 2019 Congress, in which a drone was flown over a distance of 20 kms. The demonstration worked flawlessly: now a registration platform for drones is on the list of urgently needed applications as soon as 5G is available.

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*Stakeholder Roundtable Output of 2019 FG Techritory Forum in Riga – 5 proposed actions on 5G:

1. Removing existing regulatory barriers to the 5G network across borders and

pursuing innovative approaches to developing harmonized 5G legislation in the

region

2. Developing viable business models that can attract investment or trigger

opportunities for the regional cooperation and to apply for EU funding for major 5G

cross-border project initiatives of national and regional importance

3. Exchange knowledge on multi-vendor strategies for developing a common

approach to cybersecurity and delivering safe networks for 5G deployment

4. Promoting regional cooperation between digital test environments supporting an

integrated main 5G test region of digital technologies in the world

5. To form a new cross-industry and transnational alliance for the implementation and development of 5G infrastructure and use cases.

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