Cellcard chief tips 5G to drive operator transformation - Mobile World Live

Cellcard chief tips 5G to drive operator transformation

19 SEP 2018

LIVE FROM 5G ASIA 2018, SINGAPORE: Ian Watson, CEO of Cellcard Cambodia (pictured, second from right), predicted 5G will force operators into organisational changes, and so be pivotal in transforming their business and enabling them to work effectively across different industries.

In a panel session, Watson noted operators have traditionally been slow to move out of their comfort zones to pursue new business models and markets. However, the cross-industry reach of 5G will make this essential, he explained.

To get traction, operators need a multifaceted approach covering sectors including entertainment and online gaming. In addition, they can target the enterprise market, SMBs and governments. Some operators, especially in countries like Cambodia, can approach governments with propositions on monetising digital investments.

Watson also emphasised the importance of deep partnerships with industry verticals, which will be necessary to justify the huge investments required for 5G.

When asked about what the next-generation will mean to the industry, Ong Geok Chwee, CEO of Bridge Alliance (pictured, second from left), agreed there is a lot of promise to transform “the way we work and live”, from autonomous vehicles to data analytics.

She added what is important is how 5G is designed: “it goes beyond the network…you have to be able to work with partners to co-create so it starts with being digital by design”.

4G overlap
Wing Lee, YTL Communications CEO (pictured, far right), noted if you look at the current trend, the main use case for 5G is a faster pipe: “If that is the case, it won’t justify the investments. If 5G overlaps too much with 4G, then the use cases will be limited.”

He acknowledged there are many opportunities, “but I also see a lot of big challenges”. The more innovative use cases, such as smart city applications, require ubiquitous coverage across a city or even a nation, which is years away even in the most developed markets.

“The question is what will you be able to do with 5G that you can’t do with 4G today?” he asked.

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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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