The years-long wait for a document without which a 5G networkcannot be introduced in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has come to an end. The Ministry of Transport and Communications of BiH has finally drafted the Strategic Framework for the Development of Broadband Access in BiH for the period 2021-2025, which is a kind of roadmap for fulfilling the goals in the European Union (EU) Digital Agenda.
One of the goals of that agenda, but also of BiH itself, when it comes to the field of telecommunications, is the introduction of the 5G network. When it comes to the 5G network, BiH is not only a “black hole” in Europe, but also in the region. It should be reminded that only in 2019, in March, our country started with the introduction of the 4G network.
At the time, telecom operators pledged to develop a mobile 5G broadband network but lacked a strategy that must be adopted at the state level.
It is important to emphasize that the temporary goal of the European Commission for 2020 was the availability of 5G connectivity as complete service on the market in at least one large city in each member state after its introduction on the market in 2018.
The strategic goal for all those who want to join the Digital Agenda, including BiH, is the continuous coverage of all urban areas and all major land routes with 5G technology.
It is interesting that, according to the document, the goal is to cover only 30 percent of the population in BiH with a 5G network by 2025.
In BiH, as stated in the Strategy, 57.3% of the population (about 2.02 million) live in rural areas, while 42.7% of the population lives in urban areas (1.51 million inhabitants).
”The share owned by BH Telecom and HT Mostar has the government of the Federation of BiH (FBiH), which through a political prism creates obstacles and prolongs decision-making on strategic initiatives, as well as initiatives for investment in broadband infrastructure. With questionable financial and operational strength, there is a risk whether incubator operators will be able to continue investing considering the current situation, ” it is noted.