INTERVIEW: Martin Wessel, technology evolution manager at Telecom Argentina (pictured), emphasised the need to create a robust 4G network to prepare for 5G, while simultaneously working to define business cases for the new network technology.

“The main driver for 5G will be the capacity of the 4G network and the promise of all of this IoT demand of services,” Wessel said. “Nowadays we don’t see this in Argentina so we don’t have a business plan driven by the IoT services.”

He added the operator was continuing to enhance its 4G footprint in addition to building a “robust modern network” based on a virtulalised core and software-defined radio network technologies. This, he noted, would make the launch of 5G “easier” when the time came.

Echoing statements made earlier at the GSMA Mobile 360 Series Latin America event by the operator’s CEO, Wessel said the company has to “find and be looking for” the business case for 5G in addition to securing the required spectrum at a suitable price.

To view the full interview, including comments on challenges in finding locations for infrastructure and the progress of its network virtualisation projects, click here.