EE Chief believes Industry is struggling with 5G model


EE boss Marc Allera (pictured) suggested the main value proposition for 5G remains unclear, stating most of the industry is “wrestling” with creating a business model for the technology at this stage.

Allera, speaking to Mobile World Live, revealed the UK was realistically 18 months from a 5G launch. He explained the country’s largest mobile operator had stepped up trials over the past year and entered into discussions with handset and equipment vendors to build a 5G ecosystem.

As 5G moves ever closer, Allera highlighted a number of different areas where the technology could be useful, such as addressing demand from consumers and businesses for high capacity in urban areas, and low latency use cases for IoT and autonomous cars.

However, it remained unclear what service proposition the operator would launch with: “Everyone is still trying to figure that out,” Allera admitted.

Allera said this made it difficult to build a business model around 5G, while adding that “the reality will be that we will have to assume that consumers and businesses will be prepared to pay a little bit more for faster, higher quality access to the internet and that’s how the business case will be for everyone else”.

He continued: “There will be capex investments and spectrum investments to deliver 5G and, as a result, we are going to have to look for revenue streams and getting some sort of premium out of 5G, as we did with 4G.”

In the interview, Allera also spoke of the company’s convergence strategy with content and its work to address the UK’s rural divide.

Source: Mobile World Live

Simplify IoT deployments – Microsoft

Implementing IoT should be simple: connect the thing, gain insight, take action, Microsoft believes.

Such moves to ease deployment will trigger a business revolution by enabling a digital feedback loop where connected IoT leads directly to action. However, Rashmi Misra, the company’s GM of IoT and AI solutions, readily accepts IoT is not at this level today and is a complex environment involving many diverse players along with significant challenges.

IoT Shot

“There is a need for simplification and consistency within the IoT chain,” the Microsoft executive said during the Delivering the IoT Ecosystem session at Mobile World Congress.

“We need IoT to have access to edge and cloud-based intelligence along with the ability to maintain cohesive security throughout its managed life.”

“With some analysts forecasting 1 million IoT devices being connected every hour by 2020 there is a clear opportunity – and accompanying challenges. There will be a need for very large ecosystems, and we believe Microsoft will help simplify deployments by managing the provision of devices, provide secure systems that scale, and then enable rapid analytical insight.”

Andres Escribano, director of Telefonica’s IoT connectivity business, echoed some of what Misra had said: “While I might call IoT the Infinity of Things, it should be approached step-by-step: connect, collect, process, analyse. This last phase is the most important and where IoT adds most value to a business.”

He also emphasised the need to embed IoT security at the design phase, and that standardisation and certification were key to the IoT ecosystem become a global solution.

“But I caution all the involved players not to oversell IoT, and focus on reducing the overall price of the solution.”

T-Mobile US gave some indication of what its connection costs might be for IoT. “We’re looking to charge $6 a year per connection over our NB-IoT network,” VP of network technology development and strategy, Karri Kuoppamaki, said.

“We went live late last year with this service, and we believe IoT presents a very serious opportunity and that the network is a key component in its success.”

Source: Mobile World Live

CEOs trade blows over Liberty Global

Growing speculation surrounding a potential deal between Vodafone Group and cable giant Liberty Global appeared to get both Vittorio Colao and Timotheus Hoettges – the respective CEOs of Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom (DT) – hot under the collar at Mobile World Congress.

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Vittorio Colao VF and Timotheus Hoettges DT

In a roundtable discussion, Colao hit back at his counterpart at DT for saying that he wanted to block the merger, which the Vodafone boss seemed to think was tantamount to wanting to shut down competition.

“I’m surprised by this comment from Tim Hoettges,” said Colao. “You should never look to shut down one of your competitors – you have to win by fair means. DT is the largest operator in the best market in Europe. But maybe he’s feeling a little nervous when you consider our results in Germany are pretty good and we’re now a co-leader in his home territory.”

Colao, somewhat playfully, warmed to his theme. “I find the logic that DT is promoting an interesting idea. Here you have a national player who says that a competitor should not buy a regional cable company because this creates some kind of threat to something. If you follow that logic, then DT should be split in two – perhaps an east and west Deutsche Telekom.”

Over at DT’s stand in Hall 3, where the Germany-based player was holding its press conference, Hoettges repeated his concerns about the merger, which he said would be “unacceptable” from a competitive point of view.

Looking at the German market, which he said would be affected “big time” by such a joining of forces, Hoettges claimed again that the tie-up would create a cable monopoly. Vodafone Germany already has the cable assets of Kabel Deutschland under its wing, which, if bolstered further by Liberty Global’s German cable company Unitymedia, would create a formidable competitor in the fixed-mobile converged services space – an area in which Hoettges is keen on making inroads.

“The dominance of the TV market, combined with a telecommunications provider, is something I personally find very tricky for democracy,” he added. “From my perspective, this deal is very unlikely to get approval.”

For his part, Colao made plain that he wanted fair competition in the German telecoms sector.

Source: Mobile World Live 

Operators highlight mobile’s role in transforming lives

Industry executives at the Mobile World Congress highlight the leading role that the mobile communications industry is taking, and must take, in improving the lives of people all over the world, and how collaboration, partnership and leadership during this current period of digital disruption will be key to fuelling innovation, transforming industries and spurring new opportunities.


During the opening keynote session at Mobile World Congress, Mats Granryd, GSMA director general, emphasised the important role that mobile will play in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“As an industry, we have an opportunity – and, I would argue, an obligation – to leverage our mobile networks and services to help achieve the SDGs,” he said. “The mobile industry is helping people in times of disaster, reducing inequalities, helping to preserve the world’s resources, and we are positively impacting people’s lives every day.”

Marie Ehrling, chair of both Telia Company and security firm Securitas, said the industry must now lead and shape its future through a period of digital disruption, both in terms of strategy, actions and culture, and also emphasised the need for collaboration.

“Silo thinking is not only unadvisable, but also wouldn’t work. From every company I’ve worked with today, collaborative working environments are rich across industries and across markets. It’s one of the most important catalysts of success,” Ehrling said.

Shang Bing, chairman of China Mobile, called on mobile operators to engage in a “global conversation” with one another and relevant digital players to drive innovation.

He also echoed the views of other keynote speakers in that 5G would help boost economies worldwide, provided mobile operators cooperated with what he called “ICT industries”.

“No single company can do it all alone,” he said. “By working together we can make the cake bigger.”

This was especially true in developing ecosystems surrounding big data. “We want to create win-win digital ecosystems,” he added

During the keynote, NTT DoCoMo provided concrete details of its mid-term strategy, “Beyond”, which will take the Japan-based mobile operator into the 5G era from 2020 onwards. The operator plans to launch 5G in 2020 to coincide with the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

In common with other keynote speakers Kazuhiro Yoshizawa, president and CEO of NTT DoCoMo, emphasised the importance of “co-creation” strategies with partners to establish what he described as a “richer future with 5G”, also ensuring that people will be able to use 5G services on new 5G networks “from day one”.

To support this strategy, the operator has launched the DoCoMo 5G Open Partner Programme, and has already received expressions of interest from 610 entities that wish to participate.

As well as 5G, Granryd highlighted artificial intelligence as a new area of innovation, fuelled by the availability of high-speed connectivity, the mass-market adoption of smartphones and the power of machine learning.

However, both Granryd and José Maria Alvarez-Pallete, chairman and CEO of Telefonica, once again stressed the requirement for a regulatory environment that supports the communications industry’s enormous contribution to society and global economies.

“This industry makes huge investments every year and employs millions of professionals,” said Alvarez- Pallete. “In order to efficiently make all our contributions, we need an investment friendly framework. It is not about regulating others; it is about having a level playing field.”

Granryd echoed this message, saying: “We need an environment that provides higher levels of certainty and consistency,” including the timely release of harmonised spectrum, approval of effective consolidation, an even playing field for equivalent digital services, and the ability to harmonise international privacy and data protection rules.

“All of these are crucial to the development of a rich and vibrant digital economy and to the very future of our industry,” Granryd concluded.

Source: Mobile World Live