5G in Desperate Need of a Business Model

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By Dimitris Mavrakis | 4Q 2017 | IN-4824


Huawei MBB Forum Highlights the Problem


Huawei hosted its annual Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF) in November in London this year, where it invited high profile telecom executives, including BT CEO Gavin Patterson, Telefonica CTIO Enrique Blanco, NTT Docomo CTO Hiroshi Nakamura, Vodafone CTO Johan Wibergh, and DT CTO Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, among others. These executives all have different priorities and challenges to face, but they had a unified voice in expressing that they don’t see a viable business model for 5G in the market, today. For example, Johan Wibergh asked: “How are we designing 5G to be, like 2G and 4G, or like 3G?” The difference is that 2G and 4G brought mobile voice and mobile broadband to the mass market, respectively. On the other hand, the killer application of 3G was supposed to be Push to Talk (or Push to X) and video calling, neither of which were successful. 3G networks achieved a return of investment only when incremental upgrades that provided an adequate mobile broadband experi‚Ķ

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