Appeal to the Government of Serbia to announce an auction for 5G

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We are late with new technologies and we still have a maximum of three years to use the networks we have, and we are even thinking about turning off technologies like 3G, said the general director of A1 Serbia and A1 Slovenia Dejan Turk at the Kopaonik business forum, and appealed to the Government of Serbia to call an auction for allocation of frequencies for the 5G network.

“For the third time, we have promises that the auction will take place ‘within this year’, which would mean that we can plan to use 5G technology in early 2024,” Turk said during a panel dedicated to advanced digital cooperation, which also included CEOs. Vladimir Lučić of Telekom Srbija, Mike Michel of Yettela and Director of SAS Institute Rosanda Skorić Milatović.

When it comes to infrastructure, Vladimir Lučić drew attention to the fact that its development involves significant costs, and stated that Telekom Srbija managed to provide an optical network thanks to which 1.2 million households have access to quality Internet.

“Whether it’s about 5G or other infrastructure, it must be shared with the competition and thus provide additional income to cover the costs of its construction,” Lucic said.

The first man of Telekom Srbija also estimated that satellite operators, such as Ilon Musk’s Starlink, will take a significant share of the market by 2030 and help to “connect the whole world to the Internet”.

“It sounds incredible that today about a billion people do not have access to the Internet,” Lučić said and reminded that the state has provided almost 250 million euros so that in the next few years even the most “rural” parts of the country will get quality Internet.

Part of the time on the panel is dedicated to data security, and Dejan Turk from A1 shared with the participants the experience of a data theft attempt he faced.

“My phone rang one Saturday, and I saw that it was an Austrian number. I answered, and on the other end I heard the voice of my director. 

He asked me how I was and what I was doing, which is not strange – what was suspicious is that he calls on Saturday and gives me a haircut, even though we are on ‘you’. Suspicion turned to belief that it was an attempted scam when the person started talking about a transaction, but that voice – and even the accent – was the director’s! 

This is relatively easy to achieve today, it is enough to have a video of someone talking for about a minute, and everything else is based on the technology used by fraudsters,” said Turk.

Yettel director Mike Michel agreed that artificial intelligence is a useful, but also dangerous tool in the wrong hands, but also emphasized that telecommunications is the most regulated industry, where privacy and data protection are especially taken care of.

“There is no compromise when it comes to data protection. At the same time, I can bet everyone in this room that someone has tried or is trying to steal your data today – whether it’s via email or some messaging app, the possibilities are endless. Also, companies and individuals often keep quiet about it, embarrassed that it even happened. But that’s how it is today – the more ‘digital’ we are, the more likely someone will try to steal,” Michel said.

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