WEF urges operators to finally move beyond the pipe – Mobile World Live

WEF urges operators to finally move beyond the pipe

27 NOV 2019

LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 MENA, DUBAI: Isabelle Mauro, head of digital communications industry at the World Economic Forum (WEF), called on operators to avoid past mistakes by opening discussions with verticals immediately and create business models which benefit the mobile industry.

Mauro (pictured) said operators “missed the boat with OTT players” ten years ago when companies in Silicon Valley were emerging in the 3G and 4G era.

With 5G, Mauro said it was vital operators play a bigger role in the wider ecosystem. “This is the time to sit at the table and create business models that makes telcos part of the value chain, and not just a pipe,” she said.

To illustrate the current operator challenge, Mauro recalled a recent meeting WEF held with the GSMA, and vertical companies and bodies including the 5G Automotive Association and Uber.

“We speak to these industries about how to align business models and share revenue in the value chain. But they say all they care about is capacity and the rest is a telco problem. The thinking behind the verticals is still about us being the pipe.”

Killer app
As well as opening dialogue with verticals, Mauro also said it was important to work with regulators to lay out, specifically, what the 5G era will bring. She said there are several use cases including enhanced broadband and lower latency, but it was still unclear as to how exactly these will benefit users.

“Take lower latency. What exactly does this mean for me? Ten years ago, we didn’t know what 4G would mean. For 5G, we do not [have] a killer app to show. We need to explain how 5G will change our lives.”

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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