Don’t count on fast network rollouts for 5G, says Telenor chief

REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s Telenor expects investments in 5G mobile networks to be more gradual than the rapid roll-outs of earlier networks, chief executive Sigve Brekke told a conference in Oslo on Tuesday.

Brekke made the following statements regarding 5G networks:

It’ll be different from what we had on 3G and 4G. They were basically a complete network update. 5G is different, and I don’t think you’ll see anyone coming in as new entrants and taking a position in 5G. It’ll only be the ones who already have a solid wireless and fixed position in the market.

It’ll also be more business-case driven. We won’t roll out in an entire country and hope there’s a business case. It will be a much more gradual rollout, driven by specific cases.

No customers will need 5G for current services. They are more than served by the 4G-plus networks that we have now.

So don’t expect a big investment plan like the one we had on the upgrades from 3G and 4G.

It’ll also take a long time before 5G hits the emerging markets. It’ll be Norway and Sweden first and later for the rest of the portfolio.

The company has about 174 million mobile phone subscriptions across 13 markets in Scandinavia, Asia and its Central-Eastern Europe region.

(Reporting by Joachim Dagenborg, editing by Terje Solsvik)

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