5G launches spur questions about business cases - Mobile World Live

5G launches spur questions about business cases

29 MAY 2019

LIVE FROM APAC 5G LEADERS’ CxO SUMMIT, SEOUL: With much of the industry focused on the coverage of new 5G networks as well as soaring data usage, some operators and regulators turned their attention to the basics – where’s the money?

Lin Kuo Feng, Chunghwa Telecom CTO, warned of unrealistic expectations for 5G technology, with many use cases needing more time to develop.

He noted that “so far there is no clear vision of 5G business models”, adding that deploying 5G networks at scale is complicated and expensive.

Harin Grewal, director of network, technology and resilience at the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore, agreed, saying the business models and use cases are far from clear.

He expressed concern about the business model for enhanced mobile broadband, noting he hasn’t heard any talk about plans to charge more for 5G data plans to support operators’ increased investment.

And with data usage already soaring – LG Uplus said 5G consumption jumped threefold compared with LTE – Grewal asked, “how will they support the capex?”

Singapore, which is pushing deployment of the standalone version of 5G from the start, plans to allocate 5G spectrum in December, and realistically he doesn’t expect services to be launched until 2021.

Lin cautioned operators to “proceed with caution and partner – innovation is more important than what G you are using”. He also suggested operators communicate real data rates rather than talk about theoretical speeds, which can never be achieved.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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