Eurobites: Telefónica Wheels 5G Into the Operating Theater

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: 5G arrives at London train stations; EBU wants 5G-Broadcast mode; UK doesn't want Facebook encryption.

  • A hospital in Malaga has been demonstrating what its partner in a project, Telefónica, claims is the first example of an expert assistance system for medical interventions that runs on 5G. As part of the IV Advanced Digestive Endoscopy Conference, medical training sessions at the Quirónsalud Málaga Hospital were broadcast with, says Telefónica, "almost no latency," enabling doctors and conference attendees to interact. Augmented reality formed part of the system, displaying essential information throughout an operation and being updated in real time. Equipment from Huawei managed both inbound and outbound communications.

  • Commuters in London who are EE customers and equipped with 5G-compatible smartphones will now be able to find out in double-quick time by just how much their train is delayed. The mobile operator, which is owned by BT, has switched on 5G in three central London train stations -- Waterloo, Liverpool Street and Charing Cross. The move follows EE's introduction of 5G at a number of other high-profile UK sites, such as Market Street on Edinburgh's Royal Mile and Cardiff's St David's shopping mall. (See A User Review of EE's 5G Network in London and Eurobites: 'Sick' Day for EE as 5G Switch Is Flipped in UK.)

  • The media director of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Jean Philip De Tender, has used a conference in Bucharest to call for the setting up of a "5G-Broadcast" mode, which would allow users to receive free-to-air 5G services from public service broadcasters on any 5G device without needing a specific SIM card.

  • The UK minister in charge of law enforcement has joined forces with her counterparts in the US and Australia to write an open letter to Facebook asking the social media giant to rethink its stated plan to initiate end-to-end encryption on its platforms, saying such a move would threaten public safety. As the BBC reports, Home Secretary Priti Patel put her name to the letter, which states: "So far nothing we have seen from Facebook reassures me that their plans for end-to-end encryption will not act as barrier to the identification and pursuit of criminals operating on their platforms." For its part, Facebook maintains that its users "have the right to have a private conversation online."

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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