INTERVIEW: The operator business case for 5G requires careful contemplation because the migration path differs from past technology evolutions, deputy Orange CEO Gervais Pellissier (pictured) argued.
Speaking with Mobile World Live, the executive noted 5G will be a different experience for operators than the shifts from 2G through to 4G because operators are preparing for massive machine-to-machine usage rather than the “human-to-human” contact of 4G and previous technology generations.
Pellissier noted operators like Orange can carve out a slice of the 5G market by using their existing experience and systems. Billing, for example, is a key advantage for operators: “I think there is a huge opportunity,” he said, adding Orange is the “number one invoice issuer” in France with more transactions than “any other utility”.
The executive said France, Spain and Belgium are likely to be the first European markets to see commercial 5G launches, with the situation in Central and Eastern Europe more complicated due to spectrum availability in some countries. He highlighted this as a barrier to 5G deployments across the region: “Each country has its own spectrum plan, decision making process, frequencies”, and urged action to ensure the region does not continue to lag the US and Asia.
Pellissier also discussed Orange’s move into sectors beyond fixed and mobile services: “I think revenue growth will come from the other services we can provide to our customer base,” he explained, pointing to services including Orange Bank in France and a move into the energy sector in Poland.
View the full interview here.