Thursday, March 07, 2019

Why it is wrong to talk about 5G as if it is a race

Looking at a lot of the coverage this year about the Mobile Network Operator's plans to launch 5G services and they are framed a winning the race to 5G, the prizes for those that are first. This is at best simplistic in the extreme; it frames the argument in a metaphor that is simply WRONG.

Is everyone starting in the same place?

Are the covering the same distance? 

Will the encounter the same hurdles?

Are the subject to the same rules and arbitration?

What is the mythical prize that the winner might expect?  

Might the effort to complete the marathon of launching 5G result in the same outcome as the ancient greek who was the first to run the distance, and the victor expires on crossing the finish line?  

Here in Britain EE was seen as the "winner" in the "race" for 4G. It was such a success that three of the four mobile networks were fighting one another to be rescued by BT when it was looking to buy it's way back into the mobile space. The margin of victory was so slim that the General Public were unable to see it. This has to be the definition of a Pyrrhic victory!

The Mobile Network Operators cannot afford to make the mistakes they did with the launch of 3G and 4G over the past 15 years if they are to survive and deliver on the prospects that 5G is supposed to offer. Thus they themselves need to close down the use of the phrase "race to 5G" and reset expectations that this is not just another G rather it is a step change in what is possible and over time data connections will have improved that life will be different in ways that at present cannot be envisaged.      

No comments: