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The ITU Telecom World 2019 conference, held in Budapest between September 9 and 12, was a success, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said at the closing event on Thursday. The success of the conference, which drew some 4,000 participants from 125 countries, was thanks to the cooperation of Hungary and the organiser, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), he said. Digitalisation, he said, had a social as well as an economic impact and had grown into a global policy issue. The Hungarian government’s Hungary Connects scheme shows its commitment to digitalisation. In Hungary, digitalisation is not a “vision”, but part of everyday life, Szijjártó said.
5G is opening a new chapter, Szijjártó said, regarding policy, economics and social matters, and will be indispensable for competitiveness. The Hungarian government sees 5G as a competitiveness issue and not a political one, he added. In Hungary, 4G+ has 91.4% coverage, he said, and the country is some two years ahead of the EU’s schedule for digitalisation. The media authority opened the first tenders for selling 5G in the country last week, as the government expects it to be commercially available in cities worldwide by 2025, he added.
Digitalisation promotes a competition where digital knowledge and infrastructure will be decisive instead of country size or population numbers, he said. In line with a government decision, Szijjártó announced initiating talks on Hungary hosting all ITU events between 2023 and 2026. ITU secretary general Houlin Zhao said the level of infocommunication in Hungary was a good basis for the ITU’s next conference. Hungary is committed to introducing 5G, a technology that will become inevitable, he said. Having some 150 SMEs among the participants was a “step forward”, he said.