IGF 2019 WS #263 5G era and digital inclusion


Organizer 1: Qiang Yan, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications
Organizer 2: CHANG LIU, China Association for Science and Technology、Chinese Institute of Electronics
Organizer 3: lana feng, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications

Speaker 1: XIAOQI QIN, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Radomir Bolgov, Civil Society, Eastern European Group
Speaker 3: Lisa Nyamadzawo, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 4: Mongi Marzoug, Private Sector, African Group

Policy Question(s): 

• What are best practices for the use of 5G and its degree of application and innovation ability,
• Particular cases/instances of digital inclusion in developing countries,
• What are digital inclusion issues 5G posed and need to be aware of from developing countries’ perspective.

Relevance to Theme: The 5th generation wireless communication systems (5G) is a promising technological domain with numerous emerging applications. It also has very strong developmental implications. 5G performance targets a high data rate, reduced latency, energy saving, cost reduction, higher system capacity, and massive device connectivity which facilitates various usage scenarios. 5G can also increase the effectiveness of ecommerce vendors' activities.

Although new 5G networks are expected to increase wireless speeds and trigger an explosion of new services, they may exacerbate the stubborn digital divide and leave out wide swaths of rural areas.

Relevance to Internet Governance: It needs serious consensus among stakeholders on the governance of 5G technology. As IGF is a major forum where various stakeholders come together and contribute towards developing the governance models of the Internet, this workshop intends to present the issues of 5G and build some good governance models of 5G for developing countries at the global forum in order to increase digital inclusion. The workshop is directly related to the theme and subthemes of IGF 2019.


Panel - Auditorium - 90 Min

Description: 5G has the following characteristics :(1) high bandwidth. (2) low latency. (3) low power consumption. No matter how remote the area is, 5G can be used to arrange a low-power sensor data collection platform. At the same time, the capacity of 5G base stations will be larger, so that any device around - water cup, clothes, shoes -may be connected to the Internet and become a smart device.

Based on technological innovation, we will discuss how to handle the issues concerning digital inclusion in the 5G era. With more multi-dimensional data support, the main body of social management objects will be described clearer, and the demands will be more precise. Through demand identification, the demand orientation of public services will be changed, then we can build a new pattern of speaking with data, making decisions with data, managing with data and innovating with data, which will promote the refinement and precision of governance system and governance capability. 5G will have great potential to promote the reform of digital governance and explore new ways to handle digital inclusion, which has important practical significance.

This workshop focuses on the theme of the "5G era and digital inclusion” and discusses the challenges in the 5G era. What are the opportunities and challenges of this shift? What are the coping strategies needed to reduce the digital divide?

We will discuss the relationship between 5G applications and digital inclusion in the following scenarios (but not limited to them):

• ① GB3 “5G+Education” scene and digital inclusion
First, 5G makes education break the boundary of time and space. The capacity of the Internet is enough for an excellent teacher to teach tens of thousands of students at the same time. VR, AR, remote interaction and other technologies also make Internet + education more vivid.

Second, we all talk about the merits of 5G technology, but we have to work for the digital inclusion of society at a global level. The education effects of 5G applications in remote areas may be not so effective. Remote areas may not have enough resources and applications and the ability of innovation is perhaps far from enough. In poor areas in some districts, it may even hard to get to the modern communication networks. It is important to consider the deployment and application of the new 5G technology in these areas, and to share basic educational resources in the network so as to realize the universality of education.

During the global practice of supporting education in poor areas, priority should be given to the construction of the foundation network, so that children in poor areas can reach the outside world and receive an Internet + education, which will bridge the digital gap.

•② The “5G+Medical treatment” scene and digital inclusion
The application scenarios of 5G in medical treatment can be summarized into three categories. First, medical monitoring and nursing applications based on wireless data collection by medical equipment, such as wireless monitoring, etc. Second, medical diagnosis and guidance applications based on video and image interaction, such as remote ward-inspection with medical service robots. Third, remote control applications based on video and feedback, such as remote robot surgery.

The high speed, high reliability, low delay and other properties of 5G will make it an important starting point. With technical means to promote the development of "Internet + medical treatment" and help alleviate problems such as the inadequate and unbalanced development of medical resources. 5G will promote the connection of remote consultation centers with high-level medical resources and provide services to hospitals in poor areas. 5G will also narrow the distance between hospitals and the majority of patients, so that patients can enjoy the high-quality services of large smart hospitals more conveniently and quickly, and medical treatment will be more heartwarming and efficient. 5G networks can greatly improve the coverage and the speed of telemedicine system, and reduce the construction difficulty of telemedicine systems, which will help the sharing of high-quality medical resources and the realization of "medical poverty alleviation" in poor areas as soon as possible.

There are still some problems in the integrated application of 5G in the medical and health field. First, the policy mechanism needs to be improved. Second, there are many wireless medical application scenarios. Different application scenarios have different requirements for the network. At present, the network application of 5G in the field of medical care still needs to be standardized. Third, the drafting and implementation of regulatory measures needs to be followed up. The rapid development of new 5G technologies and applications has accelerated the data flow of various applications in the medical and health fields, which may potentially pose risks to medical quality and data security. Innovative regulatory measures are needed to ensure medical quality and data security.

•③ “5G+Eldly care” scene and digital inclusion
At present, the information level of old-age care institutions in developing countries is low, modern service equipment is generally inadequate, and there are no monitoring means for the elderly with major potential and urgent diseases. As a result, the needs of the elderly for professional care cannot be met. Thus, building a unified old-age service platform, and carrying out the need of assessment of elderly service is urgent. We need to promote the use of mobile phones, wearable devices and emergency call devices for home-based care for the elderly. It has become a social need to analyze and manage the health data of the elderly and realize the connection between offline health examinations and online real-time physical examinations, so as to provide more humanized experiences for the elderly and reduce the risk of accidental injury to the elderly. The Internet of things era brought by 5G provides convenient services for home care for the elderly.
Smart homes for the aged will also become the main battlefield of smart homes. Through Internet technology, the traditional concept of "home" can be extended from the physical residence of the elderly to the Internet. The elderly will have a virtual "home" on the Internet that can be seen and heard by their children and relatives. Smart pensions and smart homes are innovative modes and forms of the pension service industry. With the combination of the new generation of information technology, such as 5G, Internet of things, cloud computing and big data, smart pensions and smart homes can provide safe, convenient, healthy and comfortable services for the elderly. The issue facing policymakers is to ensure 5G will serve the whole community, covering aged people in all segments.

The workshop is not limited to the above specific application scenarios, but can also be extended to other fields. From an international perspective, we hope to discuss the application of 5G technology in different countries and the impact of this technology on Digital inclusion. What are the opportunities from 5G? What are the risks and challenges? What are the strategies adopted by governments to reduce the digital divide in different countries?

Thus, this is the right time to discuss the issues of 5G and its impacts and resolve through broader discussions. This
workshop will discuss the emerging 5G technology in developing countries and the digital inclusion issues brought by this. The speakers will highlight their respective country/regional perspectives. The following issues will be discussed in the workshop:
• What are best practices for the use of 5G and its degree of application and innovation ability,
• Particular cases/instances of digital inclusion in developing countries,
• What are digital inclusion issues 5G posed and need to be aware of from developing countries’ perspective.

Expected Outcomes: It will a consensus among stakeholders on the governance of 5G technology.
How digital inclusion issues and strategies will be addressed and the follow-up work will be carried out.

Onsite Moderator: 

Qiang Yan, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator: 

lana feng, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group


CHANG LIU, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group

Discussion Facilitation: 

The discussion will be facilitated by the onsite moderator who will guide the panel in each of the proposed intervertions for the workshop as well as during the Q&A and comments session. The online moderator will make sure the remote participants are represented in the debate.

Online Participation: 

The Organizer shall give a significant priority to the online participants. The online moderator will ensure the proper engagement of the online participants.

Proposed Additional Tools: Social media (Facebook or Wechat) may also be employed by the online moderator who will be in charge of browsing social media using some hashtags (to be defined).


GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities