First in EU for 5G coverage but last one to get apps
Cyprus became the first EU state to report full 5G population coverage last week. Even its remote mountainous areas get better coverage than parts of London, boasted the telecoms authority Cyta. Its announcement came after its 5G network reached the last virgin vector, the village of Sykopetra in the mountainous region of Pitsilia, which was the final stop to achieving 100% coverage. Cyta’s chair Michalis Ioannides boasted of his authority’s achievement in employing a 100% 5G network before any other EU state. At a small ceremony at the village of Sykopetra, Research, Innovation & Digital Policy deputy minister Kyriacos Kokkinos acknowledged Cyta’s key role in the country’s digital transition.
5G coverage is half the job
“The immediate availability of networks and services in every corner of Cyprus enhances the country and its people’s digital maturity and by extension shielding the resilience of its economy,” Kokkinos told Financial Mirror. The commissioner for mountain areas, Kostas Champiaouris, said he was pleased with Cyta’s 5G network reaching remote communities, offering cutting-edge technology. “Cyta is one of the key pillars in the efforts to create a basic development policy for mountain areas, which concerns the promotion of digital transition, the effective creation of infrastructures and the development of services, modernising mountainous areas and improving tech accessibility for residents and businesses,” said Champiaouris.
Still can’t see a doctor
Cyta CEO Andreas Neocleous said nobody should be left on the sidelines. “Technology and its benefits can now be accessed all over Cyprus, even in its most remote areas”. The Cyprus Commissioner for Communications, George Michaelides, was no satisfied how. While 5G creates the road, someone still has to drive home the goods. “We want to see applications that will allow healthcare professionals to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients in remote areas such as Pyrgos and Polis Chrysochous,” said Michaelides, who claimed that people in remote areas currently have to travel for several hours to reach a hospital for a basic check-up. “For Cyprus to reap the fruit of having 5G, we will need to see applications on the ground that facilitate remote learning and telemedicine,” said Michaelides.