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The fifth generation (5G) network promises truly game-changing advances on the previous generation of mobile connectivity, with quicker browsing speeds, a shorter response time between the issue of an order and its execution, and greater network capacity to host multiple devices connected simultaneously.

With these advances, the imminent arrival of 5G technology arouses uncertainty in relation to security for users. Therefore, on March 26, 2019, the European Commission (EC) issued a series of recommendations to safeguard an adequate level of cybersecurity of 5G networks in the European Union (EU).

First, it recommends that Member States carry out a risk assessment of 5G network infrastructures by June 30, 2019. They must update current security requirements on service providers and impose conditions to guarantee the security of public networks, particularly when granting rights of use in 5G radio spectrum bands.

The EC considers that these measures must include heightened obligations for providers and operators that could even be excluded from the market on national security grounds if they do not comply with the applicable legal framework in their Member States.

Second, it establishes that Member States must exchange information and prepare an EU-wide risk assessment that, with the support of the EC and the European Union Agency for Network and Information (ENISA), should be completed by October 1, 2019. Depending on the outcome of the risk assessment, Member States should agree a series of measures to reduce current cybersecurity risks, including introduction of new requirements, certification testing, and identification of providers considered potentially insecure before December 31, 2019.

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