LIVE FROM QUALCOMM 4G/5G SUMMIT, HONG KONG: Ericsson’s head of 5G commercialisation tipped the industry as ready for rapid take-up of next generation services due to the imminent launch of the first 5G smartphones.
Thomas Noren (pictured) noted initial 5G smartphone launches are just a few months away and will pave the way for a new wave of services. Industry consensus places the arrival of the first attractive smartphones based on the 3GPP New Radio standard in 2019, he explained.
In a separate keynote, Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon mentioned that as many as 18 to 19 smartphone models will be launched.
Noren explained: “If we look back just a year ago, the situation was very different, when there were questions about why do we need 5G. Since then things have moved on significantly. This is a fantastic achievement because it represents a one-year acceleration from the original timeline.”
Operators also see new growth opportunities beyond mobile broadband which will be created by 5G, including fixed wireless access and IoT.
“The need for 5G is enormous. 5G will be an enabler for other industries. Without 5G there isn’t going to be a lot of AR or VR,” Noren said.
The Ericsson executive added it is widely accepted 5G will bring down the cost per bit to a tenth of what it is with 4G, which is essential for building scale across vertical industries.
“That [lower cost] is incredibly important as traffic continues to double every 18 months, but consumers don’t necessarily want to pay much more [for] that data,” he said.
Noren said the 5G trend is global, noting the company is in the process of planning and rolling out networks not just in North America, but also in Asia and Europe.Subscribe to our daily newsletter