LIVE FROM FUTURE OF WIRELESS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE, LONDON: 5G is an opportunity to rethink the way industry, government and regulators “approach the next phase of communications”, according to fast-rising firm Keysight Technologies.
The US test and measurement company, which struck a deal to acquire UK-based competitor Anite last week, believes the industry needs a bolder vision for 5G to ensure ubiquitous access across the UK, rather than “focussing on a few spots and ignore everyone else as we’ve done in the past”, said Moray Rumney, the company’s lead technologist.
“At this stage, I don’t know what 5G isn’t,” said Rumney. “But, I believe we could use it as an excuse to make a commitment to the country and roll out blanket coverage to change the way people do things. Look at what GSM did for mobile broadband. That’s the blueprint we should look at for 5G.”
As part of his vision, Rumney believes the government should strive to create something similar to the national grid for the cellular market, and establish a regulated company that is tasked with delivering ubiquitous access across the country.
He drew on the example of network sharing, in particular in Russia, where the government combined the assets of three major operators to establish Yota, which provides LTE connectivity across the country.
“Is there a way to use the money we’ve generated from spectrum and go above network sharing to create a national cellular company tasked with providing ubiquitous access?” he asked.
“Because of regulation we’ve ended up with a fragmented market based on competition, meaning companies do not roll out services where they make no money – this needs to change with 5G.”
5G was a hot topic during the first day of the Future of Wireless International Conference, as the industry begins to strategise and trial different solutions around the technology.
Alan Carlton, senior director at wireless technology company InterDigital Europe, claimed 5G will be a ten year journey of innovation, which will completely transform the industry.
The company is presently working with the European Commission on a socio economic study, which is designed to establish a Europe wide consensus for 5G requirements across all verticals, which he says “is a scary prospect”.
“We as an industry need to understand these requirements and there’s a lot of work to be done”.