As expected, 5G featured heavily as a topic at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. At the same time, operators and vendors were keen to stress that there is plenty of life left in 4G, with speeds rising to several gigabits per second as the industry takes incremental steps towards 5G.
Nokia Pushes 5G
It also has to be said that there was a certain level of anxiety about the future role of traditional players as the industry moves towards the next mobile generation. Rajeev Suri, CEO of Nokia, was not the only leading executive to seek to justify the need for 5G, while also stressing that service providers want an “evolutionary process that maximizes their current investment.”
“Many of you are wondering, ‘why do we need 5G?’” said Suri in a keynote address. “’Is it worth the billions that will be spent on it?’ Yes. I say it is worth it and it is necessary.”
He outlined three use cases that would be underpinned by 5G capabilities, such as very low latency and very high speeds, along with data analytics. These are “hyper local”, such as 5G hotspots at major events; hyper mobile, supporting applications such as self-driving cars, drones and mass transit; and hyper scale, to enable the industrial Internet to take off with billions of connected devices.