Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Europe lagging on 5G? Don't be so sure, says Ericsson

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Tuesday 19 February 19

Ericsson believe that the move to speed up 5G rollout in Europe will come from Industrial, rather than consumer focused use cases

European government's and operators are looking to fast track their 5G rollout programmes, dispelling the myth that Europe will be 'late to the 5G party', according to an industry expert. Speaking exclusively to Total Telecom, Ericsson's senior vice president and head of market area for Europe and Latin America…

European government's and operators are looking to fast track their 5G rollout programmes, dispelling the myth that Europe will be 'late to the 5G party', according to an industry expert.

Speaking exclusively to Total Telecom, Ericsson's senior vice president and head of market area for Europe and Latin America, Arun Bansal, said that 5G would be launched simultaneously across the world.

"Our perception is that 5G will happen simultaneously across the world, but for different reasons. The last few weeks of discussion here in Europe have really encouraged us. It seems like almost all operators and governments want to deploy 5G fast. That's a really positive thing. Will it really happen? That depends upon the regulatory environment and how quickly those countries are able to give the licences out," he said.

Bansal believes that while 5G rollout in the US will be driven by the need to provide fixed wireless access broadband services to the country's hard to reach rural communities, 5G rollout in Europe will be driven by industrial applications and use cases.

"That determination to accelerate 5G rollout is predominantly being driven by the industrial use cases and applications. The capacity needs are there but still the data usage per capita in Europe is still quite low compared to the US and Asia. So, capacity demands are not driving the requirement for 5G, it's definitely being driven by those industrial use cases," he explained.

All in all, Bansal believes that the prognosis for 5G in Europe is good. However, challenges remain if governments and operators are to succeed in their quest to expedite large scale rollout.

"It's really encouraging, especially in comparison with a year ago when there was a definite perception that Europe would lag behind on 5G. At that time there had been no discussion around spectrum allocation, the US was ahead, Asia was ahead. But it seems, particularly with these discussions in the last few weeks, that operators are really discussing accelerating 5G here in Europe. Now we have to see whether it really happens," he concluded.  

 

For a full interview with Ericsson's senior vice president and head of market area for Europe and Latin America, Arun Bansal, check out our live coverage from MWC 2019 next week. 

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