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Operators: Consumers the strongest 5G use case

Consumers might be the strongest 5G use case in the early days of 5G; business use cases may have to wait until the technology matures

LONDON–Asked where 5G money would come from during a panel session at 5G World, EE, Deutsche Telekom and Bell Canada answered almost in concert, ”The consumer”. This is the strongest 5G use case for early 5G rollouts.

”We are still, as telcos, a consumer-oriented industry. Consumers are still paying the bill and that is not going to change that quickly,” said Franz Seiser, vice president of core networks and Ssrvices at Deutsche. ”Five years after the initial 5G launch then maybe it will shift to business.”

Pauk Ceely, head of network strategy at EE, agreed on the timeframe for a business use case. ”We want to build a great experience across fixed and mobile and this is where money will come from in the short term. As for business use cases, it will depend on how fast we can build the different vertical ecosystems. It will take time,” he said. As for internet of things and mission-critical applications, these may have to wait a little bit longer.

EE and Deutsche Telekom also shared the same concern regarding 5G deployments: how to run a software-centric network. However, they also agreed that by implementing software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV), they had in fact already laid the foundation for future 5G deployments and initiated the transition from a boxed-based to a software-centric environment.

”5G is much more than radio access evolution. 5G is not only about new radio. And virtualization is not only a prerequisite. NFV and SDN started years ago and laid the foundations of 5G without us really being aware of it. New uses cases will only possible in a software-based environment,” Seiser said.

”The virtualization of the network is the real thing we need to fine tune. The ability to create dedicated infrastructure for virtualized services will be key,” added Emenuele Procaccioli, managing director at Accenture.

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