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‘Smart Principality’: Monaco becomes first European state with 5G and launches driverless E-Shuttle and electric ‘MonaBikes’ for tourists and residents

Monaco Telecom has announced that full 5G coverage of Monegasque territory has been achieved.
The 5G roll-out is the first pillar of the Extended Monaco programme led by Prince Albert II’s government, which seeks to bring Monaco into the digital age.
Frédéric Genta, Country Chief Digital Officer of Monaco, explains the enormous change that 5G will create: "5G is not simply an improved version of 4G, it 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." 

Frédéric went on to say, "The future applications of 5G in the everyday lives of Monegasques look extremely promising. Coinciding with the launch of 5G, Monaco Telecom is continuing to roll out its fibre network in order to deliver service quality that is acknowledged as the best in the world. This is our goal for the company and our mission as the national operator."

The power of 5G, implemented via a precise network in the territory, will be an essential platform for digital transition. "This launch proves that, day after day, the Prince's Government is shaping the face of the Monaco of the future," he concluded.

From a technical point of view, 5G will make it possible to increase speeds, improve simultaneous processing and reduce connection times, ten-fold. It will also be able to support more connected objects via antennae.

As a result, 5G will make it possible to support the exponential growth in mobile internet use. The first smartphones capable of using this new technology will be available in 2019.

Direct implementation of the Smart Principality
The Principality of Monaco is taking another step towards the implementation of its ‘Smart Principality’ concept, developed by the #ExtendedMonaco programme: a 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 new 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.”

Frédéric Genta remarked, “Inevitably, over both the short and medium terms, the transport of tomorrow will be driverless. Primarily for reasons of road safety: these shuttles do not drink, they don’t break the speed limit and they won’t cut in front of other vehicles. These vehicles will also help with parking congestion and reduce the costs associated with introducing new services.” He concluded: “At this point, the shuttle around the Rocher is not a revolution, but it is nonetheless part of a vital evolution for the development of the transport of the future.”

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.

Further to this, Friday 12th July 2019 saw H.S.H. Prince Albert II officially launch 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, compared with approximately 100 bikes from 17 stations previously. 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.

The roll-out also includes the installation of five bike stations within the principality’s public car parks and, from September 2019, the first to be introduced beyond

Monaco’s borders, with three stations in the town of Beausoleil, opening up an opportunity to extend the service to other neighbouring communities.

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. 

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