GSMA CHINA WEEK, BEIJING: Forecasts of rapid uptake of 5G services in China will only be achieved if regulators encourage innovation by releasing harmonised spectrum in a timely manner and promote technology-friendly rules, the GSMA’s head of public policy argued.
In a keynote sharing key trends from the recent Mobile World Congress, Andrew Hudson said his biggest takeaway from Barcelona was the huge potential network slicing creates for mobile operators to deliver different levels of service. China Mobile demonstrated how a 5G network slice can deliver ultra low latency or ultra high capacity, but not both at the same time.
“To me this shows 5G has the potential to open up new opportunities because the needs of different verticals, be it automotive or smart energy, require those multiple slices at different times. Those slices are dynamic and can change,” he said.
From a policy and regulatory point of view this matters because the last thing the industry wants to do is separate the available spectrum and fragment it into lots of small slices for different uses in different verticals, Hudson noted.
“That would be enormously inefficient for the verticals and ultimately consumers,” he said.
“Any rules that restrict an operator’s ability to manage the network in the most efficient way will limit the ability to innovate and enable new services.”
This is just one example of the changes 5G will bring which policymakers and regulators must consider. Other key areas are spectrum licensing models; moving to sharing arrangements to improve efficiency; and network densification, which will require more small cells: “We think regulation needs to evolve and requires a light touch,” he said.