LIVE FROM HUAWEI GLOBAL MBB FORUM 2019, ZURICH: Executives stressed the need for operators to partner with other industries to develop new use cases, arguing such collaborations will be a key catalyst for 5G.

During Huawei’s Wireless Intelligence Summit, Boston Consulting Group senior partner Ruediger Schicht (pictured) noted operators face a chicken-and-egg scenario in terms of 5G development, explaining use cases cannot be developed for “a network that doesn’t exist”, and vice-versa.

He said strategic partnerships can help operators break this cycle and develop new revenue-generating ecosystems.

David Mulholland, executive director at investment bank UBS, agreed partnerships will drive 5G. He cited a recent attempt by a number of German industrial companies to acquire spectrum as evidence that there is already a need for collaboration.

Operators “need partnerships to make sure we have the spectrum and applications available so industries that do want to embrace the change, that do want to move, have a telco industry that’s ready to move with them and is making that investment”.

Use cases
In terms of where operators should focus on 5G initiatives, Huawei wireless solutions CMO Ritchie Peng said the company focused on eight commercial use cases: fixed wireless access (FWA); AR/VR; gaming; cloud broadcasting; smart factory; smart mining; cloud surveillance; and smart ports.

FWA topped the list as a short-term use case which will quickly generate a return on investment.

Pablo Iacopino, director of ecosystem research at GSMA Intelligence, also tipped enterprise applications as a major incremental opportunity, noting they currently account for only 20 per cent of operator revenue.