While the 5G enthusiasts often hit the headlines with visions of AI-driven robots and virtual reality, many operators remain sceptical of the new business models 5G will drive, at least in the short term. Vasyl Latsanych, CMO at Russia's largest telco, MTS, echoed the sentiments Wireless Watch hears from many of its MNO research contacts – that 5G, for now, remains a series of what-ifs, with no clear answers.
Latsanych told an investor conference in London: "There is no finalized technology, no network equipment available, no frequency allocation in any of our countries, and it is not in our plans for 2017 or 2018. There are no terminals - and they don't seem to be coming - and there is no business case behind it."
The operator is making some preparation for the day when 5G does become attractive to its business. It is increasingly the number of its base stations which are backhauled with high speed GPON fibre technology, and plans to extend this from 25 per cent to 45 per cent of its sites by 2020.
MTS told LightReading that it was likely to start 5G pilots towards the end of the decade and expected standards-based kit to emerge from 2020.
But Latsanych remained sceptical of the more high-profile potential use cases, saying: "That self-driving cars will need 5G is not proven scientifically. 5G is still just about attracting attention at MWC in Barcelona."
Copyright © 2016, Wireless Watch
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