Monaco is claiming to be the first European state to have achieved full 5G coverage. The Principality has also launched driverless E-Shuttles and electric ‘MonaBikes’ for tourists and residents.
The 5G roll-out is the first pillar of the Extended Monaco programme led by Prince Albert II’s government.
Frédéric Genta, Country Chief Digital Officer of Monaco says 5G is not simply an improved version of 4G, but represents a paradigm shift. “Whereas all of the previous generations focused on telecommunications and exchanges between individuals, 5G is shaping the integration of digital technology into every part of our society and our economy.
“Energy, health, media and transport will all be transformed thanks to 5G. The technology offers enormous opportunities for the principality, its residents, its public policies and its economy, which will, in turn, benefit everyone. This new technology is essential if we are to offer our clients better service and meet their growing expectations for high-speed mobile access.”
Monaco Telecom is continuing to roll out its fibre network and Genta believes 5G will make it possible to increase speeds, improve simultaneous processing and reduce connection times ten-fold.
The first smartphones capable of using this new technology will be available this year, Genta said.
The self-driving electric shuttle is now operating on Monaco’s iconic Rock, providing a service for residents and tourists.
“The aim of this experiment is, eventually, to reduce the use of personal cars, develop public transport, and promote soft forms of mobility. We are entering into a period of learning about this transport of the future,” said Minister of Public Works, the Environment and Urban Development, Marie-Pierre Gramaglia as she introduced the initiative.
“If the experiment is successful, we will be going ahead with the development of this mode of transport, which could offer a solution to address the shortage of night buses, which is due to cost, or to serve areas in which the city buses cannot operate.”
This October, the electric shuttle will be also trialled between the Grimaldi Forum and the hotel area for seminars or conferences; an interesting opportunity for the MICE industry.
Last month Prince Albert II also officially launched MonaBike, the principality’s new electric bike-sharing scheme and the latest step in promoting soft mobility.
The electric bike-sharing scheme now offers 300 bikes from 32 bike stations. With the introduction of a smartphone app, the service, which remains available to regular subscribers, can now also be accessed by visitors to the principality.
Canadian company PBSC Urban Solutions was selected to provide the new service, with the Monegasque fleet adding to its total of 80,000 bikes in 35 cities from Australia to the US, Mexico, Spain, France and the UK.