LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 MIDDLE EAST: Huawei cautioned governments and operators to take necessary steps and prepare for 5G now, stressing that differentiating between the “business of people and the business of things” will prove a huge challenge.
Qiu Heng, president of wireless marketing operations, wireless network product, at the Chinese vendor, urged both operators and regulators “not to wait” for 5G to come to market, highlighting the fact that some “future developments are already certain, so we can prepare for it”.
One thing that is certain, according to Heng, is the huge increases expected from data traffic, and in turn, the growing need for spectrum.
In the Middle East, Heng said the spectrum gap is “huge”, and the region will need 10x more spectrum to cope with demand.
Specifically, he set out the case for 3.4GHz-3.6GHz spectrum in the C-band to be released, as well as 39GHz, both of which can be used in most regions around the world.
“There is no doubt that data traffic will increase very fast, and we should think about releasing that spectrum now,” he said. “We need time to prepare the spectrum, and for the licencing issue.
In the run up to 5G, Heng further appealed to governments to make more spectrum available on a neutral basis, reiterating calls from many corners of the industry for spectrum that can be used for both 4G and 5G networks.
His third point to regulators turned to more open ICT infrastructure, arguing that operators should be allowed to deploy base stations in public places and increase connectivity.
For operators, the focus should be placed largely on IoT, and the urgent need to begin deploying NarrowBand IoT.
“Start with NB-IoT and achieve connecting everything in the 5G era,” he said. “If we wait for 5G to come, operating in verticals will be difficult. It will require a new business model.”