LIVE FROM HUAWEI MOBILE BROADBAND FORUM, TOKYO: 5G will have an important role to play in improving customer access to high-quality connectivity in addition to enabling new markets, predicts Arnaud Vamparys, SVP of radio networks at Orange.
While much of the focus of 5G has been on its ability to enable services such as VR, AR and gaming through high-speed mobile broadband, and supporting a wide range of connected devices across consumer and business markets, the importance of robust connectivity is another important factor.
“We have a growing demand, an expectation, from our customers around coverage. They want really high-quality services at home, in transportation, in rural areas, so we really have with LTE today and 5G tomorrow to achieve that,” Vamparys said.
Orange is among the operators that is present across a diverse range of markets, from mature in Europe to emerging in Africa. And for the latter, “we have a range of customers asking us for affordable basic internet access”.
To this end, Orange has work under way to look at providing low-cost connectivity. It is also working to deliver a consistent experience at the cell edge and to reduce energy consumption (and thereby cost).
Vamparys also said there is an early opportunity for 5G to provide fixed wireless access, “as an extension to our fibre network in some rural and suburban areas”.