The Baltic Sea region (Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland) accounts for more than 100 million inhabitants (more than 20% of the EU population) and it is the leading region in ICT and innovation development in Europe with high digital maturity, governmental ambitions for digitalising services to citizens and businesses, and the level of digital competencies in society. Due to the above, the region is well-positioned to be a digital frontrunner towards 5G opportunities in Europe and to challenge Silicon Valley and Asia in this global competition. In 2017 a special declaration "The Nordic-Baltic region: a digital frontrunner" was signed at the national level where  countries of the region seek to facilitate early installation of 5G networks in the largest cities and the main transport infrastructure as well as in the energy, healthcare, agricultural, manufacturing and other sectors.


Baltic Sea Region mapBaltic Sea Region map

Latvia ranks in the top 10 countries globally for the fastest Internet speed and Latvia after Finland is in the 2nd place in mobile data usage by mobile broadband subscription. Both Internet and electronic commerce are rapidly penetrating the Latvian market and increasing the need for information and communications technologies (ICT) products, services, and support.

Latvia has a unique geographical and cultural position, providing a strategic location for business operations targeting of both EU developed economies and emerging markets of eastern neighbours.

International investors and companies recognize Latvia as a favourable location for business, enabling them to be more competitive in the global marketplace.

Latvia is also pursuing the new Data Driven Nation through Smart Specialization strategy, covering also a very special project related to a new 5G ecosystem for connected and self-driving vehicles to team up with the world’s leading automotive and ICT companies.

This year Latvia, together with other Baltic countries, is celebrating 100 years’ anniversary of its first independence that is also a very special occasion why Latvia deserves to host Baltic Sea Region 5G Ecosystem Forum.

The Estonian ICT cluster is the main force behind cooperation and development in the Estonian IT sector. It forms a collaboration platform for enterprises that combines competencies and provides access to a dynamic network of companies.

Estonia, the country that has assisted in Skype creating and hosts NATO’s cyber-defence centre, is also trying to be a front-runner in regulating robotics. The nation’s economy ministry is developing laws that would address the status of artificial intelligence in legal disputes.

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is mentioned as one of the most connected cities in the world.In 2017 Tallinn was named the second most innovative city in Europe for being a testing ground for new technologies in Horizon 2020 competition.

Since March 2017, its legislation permits testing self-driving vehicles on all national and local roads. The nation’s ministry of economics is drafting laws that would address the status of artificial intelligence in legal disputes

Germany’s ICT market is the largest in Europe and is considered one of the most innovative worldwide. It has a growing economy that provides positive business environment.

Many German companies are fast moving down the path to Industry 4.0, which in particular advances digitalisation in the areas of production ­engineering and logistics.

Germany offers start-ups a good infrastructure and lots of funding opportunities. Berlin is regarded as Europe’s start-up capital and also attracts lots of international young entrepreneurs.

Germany is the world’s largest research centre in the field of artificial intelligence.

Europe’s first 5G antennas have been erected in Berlin.

Sweden has a high ranking in terms of digital development, as compared to other countries. Stockholm was the first city in the world to introduce the 2G, 3G and 4G mobile networks and it is ranked as one of the leading start-up ecosystems worldwide.

Sweden is becoming a popular test ground for multiple live trials performed by the industry leaders, for example the trials with 5G connectivity and newer solutions for connected transport infrastructures.

Sweden has the highest level of smart devices penetration in Europe (every Swedish resident owns averagely 1,5 smart-devices).

Finland is one of world's leading countries in the field of information and communications technology. It is often called world's telecommunications test laboratory, because of the advanced nature of the Finnish telecommunications market. 

Finland is a pioneer in developing and deploying the digital solutions that are set to transform industries, services and societies. Finland has also established itself as one of the most attractive digital R&D hubs in the world, bringing in companies like GE, Google, Huawei, IBM, Intel, and many others.

The Finnish northern city Oulu is the 5G Test Network location in Finland that develops the Internet of things technology and has the world’s first living lab – testing environment inside hospital premises.

Denmark is a small, innovative country with curious, trusting and well-educated population. This makes Denmark a great test country for inventive companies.

In 2014, 2015 and 2016, the World Bank has ranked Denmark as the easiest place for doing business in Europe and the third easiest worldwide after Singapore and New Zealand.

Denmark is an international front-runner in the digital health industry and it is ranked as No. 1 in the world when it comes to e.g. IT systems in hospitals and general practice as well as digital communication between healthcare sectors.

Copenhagen is regularly placed in the top 10 of smartest cities in the world.

Norwegian Information and communication technology (ICT) is a large and rapidly growing industry that is becoming increasingly important. The ICT business covers everything ranging from labour-intensive firms that promote the products developed by themselves, to the sale of consultancy services. ICT is a driving force behind product
development and innovation in many fields.

Norway is home to some of the most technologically advanced mobile customers in the world. Norway has 100 percent 4G coverage, compared with an 84 percent EU average. The country is the ideal market because mobile phone usage is increasing by around 50 per cent annually; creating demand for the additional capacity 5G will deliver.

The world’s first shipping company focussing entirely on autonomous ships is being established in Norway as the shipping industry continues its push towards autonomous technology. 

Thanks to its immense investments in development of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, Norway claims to take one of the leading international positions in the field of AI.

Lithuania is among the countries aspiring to become frontrunners of digitalization. Lithuanian ICT infrastructure is well known for its quality and high level of development. Lithuania is an ideal location for international business due to the best accessibility in the EU to fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) technology.

The country is ranked No 4 globally for information technology skills - Lithuanian IT specialists are top class when it comes to both development and product support.

Lithuania is appealing for financial technology and innovation sector due to its flexible regulation system. Many businesses are attracted by the environment favorable to business and the world-class information and communication technology infrastructure offered in Lithuania. In 2016, Lithuania was ranked first in World Competitiveness Yearbook for IT conditions for business created in the country (Digital Agenda, 2015).

Poland is a large country with a developed transport network, industry and a large number of consumers who are open to new services.

Poland has the eighth largest economy in the European Union and is well positioned to take advantage of the digital revolution and join the most advanced economies worldwide. Many global tech giants establish their R&D and IT centers in Poland.

Polish companies and operators have rich experience in implementing innovative mobile solutions.World's first LTE 1800 network launched in Poland.Despite the final 5G network and device standards are still under development, ongoing preparations to deploy 5G networks in Poland are in progress.

Poland has the fourth-largest pool of science graduates in the European Union. Engineers are the world class but still significantly cheaper to employ than in Western Europe and the US, which allows Polish start-ups to grow faster and survive longer with the same funding.


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