Operators need to succeed in all of 5G's potential use-cases, from extreme mobile broadband and massive IoT to network slicing, or they will miss out on the business potential, a Deutsche Telekom executive has claimed.
Franz Seiser, VP Core Network and Services, Deutsche Telekom, spent a 5G seminar at SDN NFV World Congress in The Hague, Netherlands, arguing the case for a dramatic reinvention of how networks operate.
He said operators needed to fight on all fronts; building ultra-fast and ultra-dense networks with the potential to scale them from the start, and pushing cost efficiencies to claw back the investment this will require. Focusing on one area alone or a failure to devote attention of all of 5G's use cases "will not drive significant additional revenues", he said.
He added: "5G is a unique chance to completely rearchitect the network...[But] it's one thing to make it work; it's another to run it consistently.
"There's no point getting it up and running if you can't do anything with it."
Simplicity of network operations, still an "underrated" concept argued Seiser, is also crucial for success, with SDN and NFV "key enablers" to bring about new network slicing services. He said: "In order to design 5G in a proper way so it's future-proofed as much as we can, it needs to come with automation and security."
Another speaker, Mansoor Hanif, Director of Converged Networks, Research and Innovation, BT, argued that the telecoms industry is at a better stage with 5G development than it was with earlier generations. Referring to the use cases outlined by Seiser, he said: "The telecoms industry has reached a massive milestone on the path to 5G. That milestone is that we know what we want."
When it comes to developing network slicing that can provide unique services to specific customers, Hanif noted that operators needed to work closely with other industries. He said: "Everybody needs to know what they should be getting within a slice."
There is also a challenge in getting bogged down in the process, he warned. Telcos need to strike a balance between having special interest collaboration projects for specific industries without setting up these forums for every single market, he believes. "Do we need to have a 5G Automobile Association for every industry? Probably not," he said.