Rebuilding Ukraine’s Digital Infrastructure, and 5G in the Baltics

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Officials from Latvia and Ukraine last week signed a pact to immediately help rebuild Ukraine’s mobile and digital infrastructure—on a stage at the sixth annual 5G Techritory conference in Riga. Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation, did so as conference-goers watched via video link—while Kaspars Briškens, Latvia’s minister of transportation and communications, did so in person.

On camera from Ukraine last week, Mykhailo Fedorov, the country’s minister of digital transformation, displayed for people attending the 5G Techritory conference in Riga, Latvia, the digital-infrastructure–rehabilitation agreement he signed—as Kaspars Briškens, Latvia’s minister of transportation and communications, signed the same agreement on the stage in Latvia. (Source: 5G Techritory)

The cooperation covers immediate restoration of broadband internet in Ukraine, as well as supporting the country’s development of information and communications tech infrastructure and its integration into the EU and joint projects. Watch this video interview with Kaspars Briškens and Nadia Babych, chief specialist of the mobile broadband department of the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine. (Briškens also talks about the broader transport and digital communications modernization plans in the Baltic states.)

Overall, the conference is designed to bring together industry, academia and government players in the 5G ecosystem in the Baltic and Nordic states—to discuss and share knowledge on everything from technology deployment to policy and even future networks, including 6G.

EE Times also reported from the conference last year, when Latvia trumpeted its ambitions in the semiconductor value chain.

Building skills in silicon photonics design and test

In the 2022 conference, Latvia announced its semiconductor strategy made up of three key components: developing the microchip ecosystem, developing educational and research capabilities, and fostering development and manufacturing capabilities throughout the entire semiconductor supply chain.

One of the areas of expertise that the country identified was in its research in silicon photonics, and this was one line that was subsequently followed as part of the development of design, test and manufacturing expertise strand of this strategy. EE Times caught up with Oskars Ozoliņš, a professor at Riga Technical University (RTU), who was charged with leading this aspect of executing on the strategy. Watch this video interview, in which he explains Latvia’s work in silicon photonics and its significance.