Globally, 5G preparation need to focus on two areas – spectrum and investment says Borje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson delivering a keynote address at Mobile World Congress Shanghai.
“There are two areas they need to focus on as they prepare for 5G. First, they need spectrum. To avoid interference in deploying billions of devices, licensed spectrum is critical and will thus the be backbone of the connected ecosystem. The second is to focus investments on preparing for 5G and a smooth migration from 4G. This is part of a larger focus that both service providers and governments need to have on the networks of the future,” said Ekholm.
A strong 5G network will drive the innovation of new business models and use cases added Ekholm.
”5G is happening, driven by the US and China. China is particularly compelling with its focus on the industrial IoT and the deployment of billions of cellular IoT sensors,” commented Ekholm.
”China is where the industrial IoT is happening first, at scale,” Ekholm said.
“We initially underestimated the demand for massive IoT cellular technologies such as Narrowband IoT and CAT-M1. Growth in cellular IoT will be focused on large-scale implementations. In China we will see smart cities and smart agriculture. In contrast, in North America we will probably see more logistics and fleet management,” says Ekholm.
Ekholm also discussed how enhanced mobile broadband – driven by explosive data traffic growth – and fixed wireless access would be the first business cases for 5G.
“In many countries, data consumption is already above 10 GB per subscriber and month. And we believe many networks will be capacity constrained by end of 2019,” said Ekholm.
Frontrunner service providers are already racing towards 5G commercial deployments, which will happen this year added Ekholm.