Ericsson CEO: North America, Asia driving 5G - Mobile World Live

Ericsson CEO: North America, Asia driving 5G

27 FEB 2018

Borje Ekholm said 5G was no longer a buzzword and was becoming a reality, but it was North East Asia and North America that were leading the way. “We see them driving the development,” he said.

Speaking at Tuesday morning’s keynote session, the Ericsson CEO stopped short of saying that Europe was being “left behind” – a phrase, he felt, was “too strong”. He pointed to a number of 5G trials in the region.

The executive touched on familiar industry grievances about Europe, calling for less regulation and for spectrum to be harmonised and licence durations extended.

When pressed how long spectrum licences should last, Ekholm replied – perhaps half-jokingly – that they should be infinite. “You need to allow the operator re-farm spectrum and invest for the long run.”

He added that current licence lengths in Europe, which roughly average out at between 15 and 17 years, were far too short. At a bare minimum, the Ericsson CEO thought they should last at least 25 years.

Reflecting on the bigger 5G picture, Ekholm believed operators had much to be optimistic about. Taking into account IoT and the industrial internet – which 5G was made for, said the CEO – Ericsson forecasts a revenue potential of up to $600 billion for service providers.

Ekholm also asserted that 5G would highlight the importance of the network, enabling mobile operators to play a central role in the digital landscape. “Increased speed, lower latency and longer battery life are all important parts of the ecosystem,” he said,

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Ken Wieland

Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight...More

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