5G in Ukraine Only Possible After War Officials Say – Kyiv Post

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Implementing 5G networks across Ukraine will only be possible after the war, representatives from Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation told Kyiv Post.

Speaking at the Telecom Strategy Presentation on Wednesday, May 15, a ministry official said introducing 5G could affect military operations.  

“If we speak about the national implementation of 5G technology in Ukraine – [it could happen] only after martial law is over because we have to do a lot of research to understand that 5G equipment will not interfere in the military operations during the martial law,” the official said.

As Forbes.UA reported, it’s possible that Ukraine cannot release the radio frequencies for 5G because the military is already operating on them.

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Ukraine’s 5G plans will be presented when they’re further developed, the official said.

Foreign vendors

In response to a Kyiv Post inquiry on whether Ukraine has taken measures to safeguard itself from national security risks that arise from using foreign vendors for 5G – as Europe’s been doing with Chinese vendors – another official said the ministry has “a very neutral opinion” about it.

“As of now, we still have not shaped a specific state policy on the use of vendors from other countries – I mean, producers,” the official said.

Ukraine has to catch up

Earlier at the presentation, Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Federov said Ukraine has to catch up with global developments – where some countries have already implemented 5G networks and some are now considering 6G.

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Work to introduce 5G to Ukraine is ongoing with the help of local operators, Federov said.

“We really want to launch more pilot 5G pilot platforms now, and we designed the strategy with operators on how to accelerate the process,” said Federov. “The world will not wait for us.”

The 5G technology, as opposed to the 4G networks being used in Ukraine, presents more than 10 times the mobile internet speed and can open up a variety of applications, where its low latency and high network capacity can help process a large amount of data at once and foster artificial intelligence (AI) usage, for example.

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Being able to transmit a large amount of data in real-time can also have positive effects on military applications.

As reported by RBC Ukraine, work for 5G in Ukraine started in 2017 when former President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree on its introduction. In 2021, testing began. The technology was set to be launched in 2022, before Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

In February, UNN reported that Kyivstar, one of Ukraine’s major telecommunications companies, started testing 5G technology – a project that’s set to end mid-May this year.

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