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5G must be treated as ‘critical national infrastructure’, says Ericsson head

Jasper Hart
June 20, 2019

Arun Bansal made the comments at the Connected Britain event

Ericsson’s president for Europe and Latin America has called on the UK to treat 5G as a critical part of its national infrastructure to improve its digital economy.

Speaking at the Connected Britain event in London earlier this week, Arun Bansal called on operators and regulators to  collaborate to ensure a comprehensive rolling out of the service across the country.

“Britain is talking about experiments in 5G and convergence while Ericsson is deploying 5G commercial networks in nine countries already,” he said. “South Korea already passed one million 5G consumers in 69 days. It took 80 days to reach one million with 4G.”

He added that research from Ericsson had shown that consumers were willing to pay a premium for 5G services, which increased the need for nationwide infrastructure to be made available.

“We did research for the UK: 63 per cent of consumers are willing to pay extra for 5G. But as we all know, there has to be a 5G network that works seamlessly across the nation. It’s not going to work if we just have a limited number of sites and trials – a ticking-the-box attitude to investment. If the operators, regulators and vendors provide the right type of 5G network, we are convinced that there is enough money for everyone to make a return.”

He concluded that a climate of investment was necessary, especially with Brexit on the horizon.

“My sincere message to the UK is to treat 5G as critical national infrastructure. Especially with Brexit looming over us. In order for the UK to attract foreign investment we need that digital infrastructure to be in place,” he said.

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