5G activities to ramp up in 2018: Ericsson
Head of Ericsson in Malaysia, Todd Ashton, opined that a country’s broadband strategy has to be about both fibre and mobile, instead of just one access technology. He shared this during a media briefing to announce Ericsson’s continued partnership with local mobile operator U Mobile.
The renewed five-year managed services contract would allow U Mobile more visibility and more control over capital and operating expense, as well as to focus on product development.
The business support system offering included, will enable the telco to offer real-time promotions and notifications, products and services cross-bundling, subscriber personalisation, and also flexible mobile wallets.
U Mobile CEO, Wong Heang Tuck, shared that the upcoming mobile wallet offering, is pending approval and license from local regulator, Bank Negara.
Over 5 million U Mobile subscribers are managed by Ericsson.
Ashton pointed to a 3 times growth in LTE/5G mobile subscriptions. But besides that, there has been a shift in mobile data plans; the past 12 months saw subscribers on plans larger than 5GB, grow from 34-percent to 57-percent.
“The implications of this, is that service providers are now in a position to invest more capital into LTE networks,” he said, adding that they are also now motivated to ensure a that there is a good and fair environment for spectrum allocation.
Ashton also took the opportunity to highlight 5G’s potential in Malaysia, pointing out that 5G connectivity can enhance mobile broadband, from the capacity perspective, as well as complement fibre broadband infrastructures in Malaysia.
“But all the parties; industry, academia, and government; have to work together to create the right conditions for the industry.
“And we need to start thinking of 5G, because things will start happening this year, around the globe.”
According to Ashton, Korea is determined to be in the forefront when it comes to pre-standard 5G this year, and that there would be a lot of trial, development, and deployment activity as a result.
5G standards are expected to be finalised as a vote by all the relevant parties, during 3GPP’s meeting in September 2018, in Australia. This would signal for the ecosystem to finally start moving to commercial deployment of 5G.
In Malaysia, Ericsson has been trying to drive 5G take up, by working with local academia on radio propagation of 5G, and showcasing the benefit of IoT via their connected mangroves project in Malaysia.