Not long ago, it seemed that 5G was still a Future Thing and something to ponder while operators were enhancing their LTE networks. Now, in the latter half of 2017, there seems to be a mad rush to be first on the block to launch the next “G” even as the standards are still being hammered out – even if “5G” basically means souped-up 4G broadband access to start with.
But there’s a case to be made for getting an early start, and Mike Wright, group managing director for networks at Telstra, took the stage at TechXLR8’s 5G Asia conference in Singapore last week to make the case for “another G”. The condensed version: while 4G has a lot of legs left, its capabilities will eventually be outstripped by the ongoing growth of data traffic and the number of devices that need connecting with the IoT. And for aa growing number of cellcos, that day isn’t as far off as everyone thought.
Job done, he dropped by the Disruptive.Asia studio to talk with editor John C. Tanner about why 5G is coming sooner than expected, why we need it sooner rather than later, what Telstra plans to do with it besides enhanced broadband, where the business cases are going to come from, and the challenges of delivering it to the outback. To say nothing of the spectrum.