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MWC panel calls for more services, lower 5G cost

Posted: 24 Feb 2016     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:5G  digital natives  smartphone 

A panel discussion on "creating value for consumers," held last Monday at the Mobile World Congress were abuzz with fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks, and not surprisingly, with the panellists from large telecom operators and vendors, deviated the discussion on how to cut down the cost of 5G services for its consumers.

"Matt Grob, chief technology officer at Qualcomm, Inc. said "Its' all about cost, cost, cost. "Bringing it down for all these services.

Among the services expected to advance with the faster data rates and lower latency (transmission delay) rates with 5G, touted in a presentation by Alex Jinsung Choi, chief technology officer at SK Telecom, is augmented reality (AR), among whose primary uses is gaming but which will also "help people in different places to work together without feeling the distance" between them.

Qualcomm CTO

Qualcomm CTO Matt Grob

Also likely in the coming 5G push, which will build steadily through the next five years—with all technical details of the standard scheduled to be ratified in 2020—will be 360-degree live-streaming virtual reality services, remote-controlled robotics, autonomous cars and the long-delayed proliferation of the connected home. Choi looked forward to a future of "virtualized isolated networks" enabled by streaming data rates in excess of 20 Giga bits per second (compared to about 5 Gps nowadays).

Deutsche Telecom CTO

Deutsche Telecom CTO Bruno Jacobfeuerborn

Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, Deutsche Telecom's chief technology officer, worked around to the 5G cost issue by stressing the fact that, nowadays, the ubiquity of the smartphone means everyone is constantly "connected." He quoted Janice H. Reinold of The Boston Consulting Group, who said, "In today's modern world, you're either connected or you're asleep."

Jacobfeuerborn referred to the emerging generation of smartphone users as "digital natives" living "digital lives," virtually joined at the eyeballs to their digital devices, "staring"—in Grob's words—"at their little rectangles." But digital natives, whose perpetual connectedness will incur charges from providers like Deutsche Telecom, will expect a much higher quality of service along with higher data rates, lower latency and higher phone bills.

"Enrichment," noted Qualcomm's Grob, will be essential. As will security.

MWC Panel

Mobile World Congress Panel on '5G: Creating Value for Consumers'

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