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Mobile News XPO: two-phase 5G launch and rollout expected

Jasper Hart
March 26, 2019

Early adopters to shape long-term applications

The adoption of 5G will come in two phases, according to leading industry executives speaking on a panel at the Mobile News XPO.

Panellists stressed the importance of early adopters and how they will shape the technology’s applications in the long term.

Samsung director of innovation, technology and services Kate Beaumont said: “5G will come in two phases. At the start, there will be a soft launch, we’ll learn how consumers are using their devices and what they think the benefits are, and the marketing stories will build from there.”

“One of the benefits of being at the forefront of innovation is the opportunity to learn how consumers are using their phone,” added Beaumont. “We can learn to design and develop to support those use cases.”

O2 CTO Brendan O’Reilly said: “All too often, we talk about the technology and not the outcome that it can drive. The more we talk about the outcome, the more chance we have of that greater collaboration.”

O’Reilly said further: “Initially, it’ll be in two terms. In the near term, it’s capacity, and what you’ll be able to do on your handheld device. In the future, it will be IoT, mobile edge computing and autonomous vehicles, but that’s stage two.”

CCS Insight chief of research Ben Wood said: “We need to keep our feet on the ground. There will not be millions of 5G users by next
year; just a few hundred thousand would be a great result.”

O2, Vodafone and EE have all announced launch cities for 5G this year, with Vodafone leading the way with 19 launch sites.

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