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25-02-2019 19.17

President Torra: 'We're committed to ensuring that Catalonia plays a leading role in the new 5G technology revolution'

  • The head of the Catalan executive took part in the opening of the Mobile World Congress, visiting a number of stands, including those of Seat and Huawei
  • Together with Ministers Puigneró and Vergés, Torra presided over the official presentation of a 5G-connected ambulance pilot project at the stand of the Catalan government
  • Minister Puigneró announced that the executive will today approve Catalonia’s 5G strategy today and an agreement with Occitania to deploy the Mediterranean 5G network, a test bed for autonomous vehicles
President Torra visits Mobile World Congress President Torra during his visit to the MWC (photo: Rubn Moreno)
This morning, the president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, attended the official opening of the Mobile World Congress (MWC). He was accompanied by the Vice President, Pere Aragonès; the Minister of the Presidency, Elsa Artadi; the Minister for Digital Policy and Public Administration, Jordi Puigneró; and the Minister of Business and Knowledge, Àngels Chacón.

The president’s tour of the exhibition included a visit to the stand of the carmaker Seat, where he met with the company president, Luca de Meo, who showed him the new Seat Minimó, a fully electric car that the group is presenting at this year’s MWC as its bet to improve urban mobility. He has also met with Tony Jin Yong, the CEO of Huawei in Spain, who told him about the brand’s latest products and projects.
 
After visiting a number of stands, the head of the executive, together with Minister Puigneró and the Minister of Health, Alba Vergés, presided over the official presentation of the 5G-connected ambulance service of the Catalan Medical Emergency System (SEM). The pilot project reflects the Catalan government’s commitment to harnessing this disruptive technology as a driver of change and economic and social progress that will directly impact critical areas such as health, mobility, security and logistics.
 
“Thanks to the MWC, Catalonia becomes the capital of the world for a few days, but we’ll keep working because, just as we were leaders in the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, in the 21st century we want to play a leading role in the new digital revolution that’s coming, which we’re deeply involved in,” said Torra.
 
Minister Puigneró said the connected ambulance was “an example of Catalonia’s 5G strategy, which will be approved by the government today”. “We’ve been the world capital for mobile; now we want to be the world capital for 5G,” he added. Commenting on the government’s new strategy, the minister said: “In addition to health, it’s aimed at giving impetus to connected and autonomous cars – the cars of the future.” In line with this strategy, Puigneró announced that the Catalan government has reached an agreement with Occitania to deploy the Mediterranean 5G corridor, which he said would be “the most important southern European test bed for autonomous and connected vehicles.”
 
Quim Torra called the 5G strategy “an extremely important first step” that would serve to “deseasonalise the MWC”. “As one of the most attractive investment destinations in southern Europe, Catalonia is well-positioned to become a country that strives every day to be a leader in the world of digitalisation,” the president said.
 
 
The 5G-connected ambulance pilot project
 
The 5G-connected ambulance, presented for the first time today, is a pilot project to explore the use of 5G technology in a real environment. The government is presenting the project at the MWC as an example of the practical application of its new strategy.
At the presentation, Minister Vergés said that 5G technology will “help us ensure a much faster connection with no interruptions.” “We’re putting technology at the service of people,” she said. The ambulance will make it possible to “better diagnose patients, treat them more quickly, and save lives”.
 
The presentation included a simulation of the provision of medical care to a patient with pneumothorax in an ambulance with a 5G connection to the Catalan Medical Emergency System (SEM). The pilot project presented at the MWC has a 5G Vodafone connection that provided a dedicated communication channel, with minimal delay and high-definition video,  between the emergency crew providing care to the “patient” in the ambulance prototype at the Catalan government stand and an SEM medical specialist at another location, who was able to offer expert assistance to deal with the critical emergency.
 
The demonstration will be repeated at the Catalan government stand over the four days that the MWC runs.
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