European group takes aim at 5G launches - Mobile World Live

European group takes aim at 5G launches

10 APR 2019

LIVE FROM 5G REALISED, LONDON: European Commission-backed body the 5G Infrastructure Association, dismissed recent 5G launches by operators in South Korea and the US as little more than fluffed up LTE, with the networks unable to support any exciting use cases.

Citing the long development cycle needed for network launch, chairman of the group Colin Willcock (pictured) questioned what exactly was launched, “because it sure as anything isn’t the latest version of the standard”.

“These people who think Europe is behind, it’s not about who deploys first…it’s about who deploys best. Best means [being] able to support the exciting uses; the healthcare; the media; the automotive. Is that what’s being deployed today? No, it’s massive broadband, that’s LTE with new shoes.”

The comments follow a number of warnings over the last year stating Europe is lagging on 5G compared with markets already launching the technology including the US and South Korea.

He emphasised the need for Europe to focus on “full 5G”, but conceded there was a value in early launches to prime the market and demonstrate demand for further investment. “If you have a small-scale deployment and show from that the commercial case, then you can prove the investment case and that absolutely makes sense.”

“That vision of what 5G can be, the bedrock of a modern digital society will not be created by the systems that will be deployed this year or indeed next year, but a different version of 5G,” Willcock added.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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