LIVE FROM BROADBAND WORLD FORUM, BERLIN: A Deutsche Telekom executive noted running separate fixed and mobile networks to supply the same consumer services will significantly limit 5G’s prospects.

Franz Seiser, VP of core network and services (pictured), believes both the fixed and mobile industries need to undertake a shift towards increased convergence to meet “new internet” demands.

“Video going to HD and ultra HD, AR and VR applications all need more and more bandwidth, but that doesn’t create ARPU in the same way [as legacy services did]. How do we innovate and stay profitable? Today’s way of running networks will not deliver,” he said.

“5G is a unique chance, but we need to take it – shape it and make sure it’s going in the right direction,” he added: “To enable innovation you need to throw away a lot of legacy and as an industry we are very bad at that.”

“We are still so much linked to our legacy, but it hampers us going forward.”

Beyond mobile broadband
Seiser told the audience while the industry is currently focused on the opportunity offered by consumer-facing 5G mobile broadband, this only increases efficiency rather than growing ARPU.

More importantly, he said, was the need to plan what happens after initial 5G launch, pointing to the need to open up new business models and converge network systems to deliver both fixed and mobile broadband.

“The big question is what happens afterwards, are we able to start working on the future challenges, if not, we may look back in a similar way to the way we see 3G today,” he said.

“Today we are running two totally separate networks, fixed and mobile, to supply the same service,” he added: “Wouldn’t it be better to bring everything together?”