EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Hossein Moiin, technology advisor at Nokia (pictured), said he is now more optimistic about European operators’ prospects for the 5G era, but remains concerned the region will lag other global markets due to a lack of action by regulators.

Speaking with Mobile World Live during the recent Mobile World Congress Americas, Moiin said leading operators including Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and Orange have accelerated their 5G development and are now laying concrete plans for the next generation technology.

However, he reiterated his view Europe’s regulators must deliver “coherent spectrum policy” and “harmonised timing” in order to play a leading role in 5G.

The executive remains convinced the US, South Korea and Japan will lead the world in terms of developing 5G use cases, and said the greatest demand in terms of application of the technology is currently focused on enhanced mobile broadband rather than fixed-wireless.

Emerging services including VR and augmented reality (AR) “require significant bandwidth” he explained, noting while some of the demand can be met by enhancing current LTE networks to enable gigabit data rates, “I think doing so in a very cost-efficient manner is much more challenging than moving towards the next generation of mobile networks.”

Network rivals
Moiin was cautious on the potential for 5G to open the way for greater competition in the mobile equipment sector, which is currently dominated by Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei.

Samsung and ZTE are investing heavily in 5G technology and equipment, eyeing the next generation technology as an opportunity to establish a beachhead. However, Moiin said low margins in the equipment market will make it difficult for new entrants to challenge the status quo.

Click here to view the full interview.