TM FORUM DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION WORLD SERIES: Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke (pictured) called on operators to seize opportunities for growth from the deployment of 5G networks, ensuring investments in the next-generation technology roll-out are monetised.

Telenor’s chief described 5G as an opportunity to use technology for getting into an era of growth but cautioned operators should not repeat previous mistakes made with the deployment of 4G.

“We wasted an opportunity with 4G because we invested billions of dollars into our networks and paid also billions of dollars in buying spectrum, but we were not able to really monetise those investments”, Brekke said.

Going forward, key questions should be placed around the creation of a new SIM, the use of new technologies, such as cloud computing, storage and analytics, and the creation of new types of services to monetise from, according to Brekke.

He put an emphasis on collaboration in the broader industry, noting partnership and competition will be happening simultaneously in the future.

Telefonica CTIO Enrique Blanco concurred, adding “this game is adding players, so if somebody is thinking they can do it alone, they are making a big mistake”.

In terms of monetisation opportunities from the next-generation technology, he outlined coverage and enhanced mobile broadband as the first step.

“This means a massive use of dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS). DSS means that we can be extremely good in terms of spectrum and we can offer our customers the possibility to use that 5G enhanced mobile broadband capabilities”, Blanco said.

Blanco added that huge monetisation opportunity would come with the deployment of 5G standalone networks.