INTERVIEW: EE boss Marc Allera (pictured) suggested the main value proposition for 5G remains unclear, stating most of the industry is “wrestling” with creating a business model for the technology at this stage.
Allera, speaking to Mobile World Live, revealed the UK was realistically 18 months from a 5G launch. He explained the country’s largest mobile operator had stepped up trials over the past year and entered into discussions with handset and equipment vendors to build a 5G ecosystem.
As 5G moves ever closer, Allera highlighted a number of different areas where the technology could be useful, such as addressing demand from consumers and businesses for high capacity in urban areas, and low latency use cases for IoT and autonomous cars.
However, it remained unclear what service proposition the operator would launch with: “Everyone is still trying to figure that out,” Allera admitted.
Allera said this made it difficult to build a business model around 5G, while adding that “the reality will be that we will have to assume that consumers and businesses will be prepared to pay a little bit more for faster, higher quality access to the internet and that’s how the business case will be for everyone else”.
He continued: “There will be capex investments and spectrum investments to deliver 5G and, as a result, we are going to have to look for revenue streams and getting some sort of premium out of 5G, as we did with 4G.”
In the interview, Allera also spoke of the company’s convergence strategy with content and its work to address the UK’s rural divide. Click here to watch.