Brendan Gill, CEO of network benchmarking company Opensignal, warned operators against making false and misleading network claims, arguing they damage credibility with consumers and could ultimately harm 5G progress.
Gill told Mobile World Live operators are still developing their 5G marketing campaigns, trying to discover what messaging resonates most with consumers. But vague promises backed by dubious network test results can be a recipe for disappointment, both for consumers and operators, he said.
“When expectations are too high it can actually backfire” by causing customers to churn. Operators have “to make sure expectations they’re setting align with reality”.
Conflicting information could also cause consumers and enterprise customers to postpone upgrading to 5G devices until they see whether others reap the promised benefits, he added.
“Fake news is a real problem within the telecoms industry and really harmful for progress. Operators globally are questioning what level of investment to put into 5G. The reality of the industry right now is things are pressured, they’re not growing as fast, so nobody’s making investments unless there is a return on investment.”
“If that investment isn’t going to be recognised because of confusion in the market…then they might hold off or question whether to invest at all”.
The CEO acknowledged rival benchmarking methods like drive testing have value as network diagnostic tools for operators.
However, he argued consumer experience-based metrics (like those offered by Opensignal) will become increasingly important with the advent of technologies such as network slicing, which will give operators greater flexibility to tailor network settings to different types of content.
“Video content is treated differently to downloading an app or downloading a webpage…There won’t be such a thing as the speed of the network, speed and latency will depend on the slice, and you will only see those differences with a real world experience approach.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back