LIVE FROM 5G WORLD 2017, LONDON: Berit Svendsen, CEO of Telenor Norway (pictured, far left), stressed the need for operators to establish strong business and use cases before committing to 5G, as she tipped the country to emerge as a pioneer for the technology across Europe.
Speaking on a panel session, Svendsen hailed the success of 4G in Norway, where 83 per cent of the population can access LTE. She said the company was able to improve its top line through the technology, and it was now a question of replicating the success with 5G.
However, simply increasing efficiency and enabling faster speeds for consumers would not be enough of a case to make the “huge” investment required for 5G, she warned.
She said Telenor had identified use cases for the technology in autonomous driving, remote surgery and fish farming, and urged fellow operators to take a similar approach.
“The whole telco industry needs to increase revenue going forward. We are already in big trouble because there has not been increases in revenue for many years.”
“We have been lucky in Norway as we have been able to monetise the mobile side, and this is good reason to defend current and future investments. This is now a necessity going forward by finding good use cases to monetise 5G. If not, it will take a long time.”
Despite recent downbeat forecasts for Europe’s 5G potential, Svendsen also insisted Norway could emerge as a 5G leader: “We are a tech leader and very ahead of most European countries.”
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Also speaking on the panel, Roger Clark, BT Group’s head of mobility strategy (pictured, second from right), maintained 4G investment was going to be imperative in the run up to 5G in its bid to continue to serve current customer demands.
He also urged the UK to help it on the road to 5G, and its bid to densify networks.
“5G will not only be about the cost of rolling out. It is about the densification of cells to get to that capacity,” he said.
“If we are going to roll out more cells we need to make policy and planning rule changes to get the capacity out there. If you want to be a player in the digital world in the 2020s, the UK as a whole needs to support the economy to make it easier to increase the deployment of those cells.”