LIVE FROM BROADBAND WORLD FORUM, BERLIN: BT Technology, Service and Operations CEO Howard Watson (pictured) talked-up 5G as being at the heart of group strategy, while pointing to the strong potential of the applications it will enable.

“It’s about much more than mobile broadband, but that’s about the only thing right now we can build a true business case around,” he said.

“But let’s not allow that to dissuade us from the opportunity 5G really brings around other capabilities, low latency and the Internet of Things, and the masses of devices we can connect to a 5G network.”

BT is in the process of improving its UK fixed broadband network and developing its EE division’s 4G network, to support an expected increase in the use of high-bandwidth consumer services.

“VR and AR are starting to look like they have come over the hype curve and that there will certainly be some growth there,” Watson said, adding he expected TV services to be a core use case for high-bandwidth consumer services.

The executive added future networks needed be developed with a view to delivering seamless fixed and mobile connectivity, echoing comments from Franz Seiser, Deutsche Telekom’s VP of core network and services, earlier in the day.

Watson added: “Our industry and vendor partners need to think end-to-end about how these various technologies grid together to create technologies that customers really want from the network.”

“Capacity, speed, latency and reliability are all really key, but also flexibility, programmability and seamless integration between mobile and fixed line.”