INTERVIEW: The head of Ericsson’s North America business explained moving 5G deployments in the US forward had become more of a political issue than one involving standards or technology, given networks are already up and running.
Niklas Heuveldop, president and head of the vendor’s Market Area North America unit (pictured), noted politicians and regulators in the country are now holding meaningful discussions around spectrum availability, seeking to address the need to combine high- mid- and low-tier bands to deliver nationwide access with fast data rates.
He noted the US is “uniquely positioned to be working in all three bands”, with the combination “key for the success of 5G”.
But spectrum is not the only political challenge. Heuveldop said delays in allocating zones and issuing permits for infrastructure “is what is holding us up right now”, while initial deployments had delivered “a clear understanding of how we could go faster”.
The executive tipped 2020 as the year 5G technology would begin to truly take off in the US, with city- and nationwide coverage combining with greater availability of compatible devices to enable new use cases for consumers, enterprises and “also city-type solutions”.
“We’ve been very focused on industrial, mining, automotive and other use cases, but I think next year we’ll see really where we start.”
Heuveldop also discussed Ericsson’s commitment to bringing its R&D and manufacturing closer to its US customers through a raft of recent investments and the opening of a smart factory in Texas.
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