Operators expected to invest $500Bn in 5G over two years

GSMA director general made the prediction but also warned that regulatory framework needs to be updated Mobile operators are expected to invest £500 billion in mobile capital expenditure between 2018 and 2020, according to the GSM Association. The prediction was made by GSMA director general Mats Granryd during his keynote speech.

Granryd warns, however, that there needs to be a regulatory framework for the industry to be “fit for the digital age” if the investment is to be successful. Granryd also said the GMSA anticipates that 40 per cent of the world will be connected to 5G by 2025, with an estimated 1.3 billion connections. It is also expected that 70 per cent of the worldwide population will be on mobile by then, equating to 5.1 billion global subscribers.

Granryd believes that 5G and AI will provide the two biggest changes to the future of mobile, helping create an “immersive experience”. “Consumers will be able to enjoy a creative immersive experience through VR and 360-degree videos, plus holograms too. This will become the norm in the future,” he said.

But this vision of intelligent connectivity will only be possible if it is supported by a regulatory environment that encourages innovation, explained Granryd.

“We need an environment that provides higher levels of certainty and consistency.There needs to be a timely release of harmonised spectrum and the approval of consolidation while maintaining competition.

There also needs to be an even playing field and the ability to harmonise privacy and data.”

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