LIVE FROM HUAWEI GLOBAL MBB FORUM 2019, ZURICH: Sunrise CEO Olaf Swantee (pictured) highlighted the potential for 5G to reduce the digital divide between urban and rural areas, and improve sustainability by improving efficiency.

He said the most important immediate benefit of 5G is the ability to connect cities with rural areas, noting most countries have the same problem as Switzerland, where 22 per cent of the population still has poor internet service.

“With 5G we have a real opportunity to change that, which can have a positive impact on the environment,” as people can turn to online shopping rather than driving to cities.

He also sees a huge opportunity for 5G to make farming even more effective and efficient, reducing its environmental impact.

In addition to 5G trials covering farming, Swantee said Sunrise and Huawei are jointly conducting tests involving gaming, live streaming and manufacturing.

He believes cloud gaming is ideally suited for 5G, due to the technology’s lower latency compared with 4G, and an ability to deliver high-end graphics. The operator, in collaboration with its platform partner Gamestream, will launch the Sunrise Game Cloud 5G app in November.

The operator’s 5G network covers more than 262 towns and cities across Switzerland: it claims at least 80 per cent population coverage in the areas.

Sunrise is hosting Huawei’s first joint innovation centre in Europe, which opened at the operator’s headquarters in Zurich yesterday (14 October).