On 30 April, with the launch of the #ExtendedMonaco programme, the Prince’s Government set the tone for Monaco’s ambition in a digital world.
The 5G network, the first pillar of this “Smart Principality,” will be activated in July in the Principality, with the implementation of fibre optic and the introduction of a sovereign cloud. This points to major developments that could offer Monaco levels of performance that live up to the expectations of its residents and the needs of its businesses.
On Tuesday 18 June, a press conference announcing the forthcoming launch of 5G was held at the premises of MonacoTech, attended by the main players in this project, who are keen to establish a technical, regulatory and health framework. This technological advance is being adopted at the same time by many European countries, such as Portugal, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and, in 2020, France.
“Even more than moving us forward towards opportunities for progress, the priority of 5G is to keep us at the centre of a high quality network; the 4G network is reaching saturation,” stated Martin Peronnet, Managing Director of Monaco Telecom. Because this is the first challenge – faced with a surge in demand for mobile Internet services (the main mode of access to banking services, increased consumption of information and use of social networks, which feature a large number of videos and therefore require large amounts of bandwidth, increased use of GPS apps, etc.), it is quite simply a matter of ensuring a high quality service and meeting all these needs.” He then referred to “the revolution in the business world, which will thus be able to communicate extensively with all connected objects, almost in real time!”
For his part, Christophe Pierre, Director of the Smart Nation Department, referred to the regulatory framework that prevails in the area of electro-magnetic fields. “Since 2010, the Principality has adopted regulations in this area that are even more stringent than the international standard stipulated by the ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection), which has set out guidelines defining the exposure limit values that must not be exceeded. These limits are already 50 times lower than the level at which the first thermal effects are noted and, for Monaco, these values have been reduced even further,” he stated, before giving some practical details. “Twenty-seven antenna sites will be authorised for 5G technology, once they have been verified, using the existing 4G antennas; there are no 5G antennas on street furniture or in new bus shelters; this summer, the Government will publish a map of authorised and verified sites and, at the end of the year, an electromagnetic survey.”
Finally, responding in advance to the health concerns raised by this issue, Alexandre Bordero, Director of Health and Social Affairs, recalled that, “according to the World Health Organization, in the light of all the collective scientific studies on electromagnetic waves that have been undertaken and verified over the past twenty years, these electromagnetic waves have in no way been classified in the category of proven health risks, particularly with regard to cancer.”