Industry reacts: EEs 5G launch

Today, EE’s 5G network went live in six cities across the UK, including London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham, and Manchester. Here, senior members of the industry give their takes on what the 5G launch means.

EE 5G Glastonbury

Gavin Stirrat, Europe VP for partner services at OpenX
“5G has finally landed, and while the benefits for consumers are high, advertisers are also set to experience a revolution in the way they work. 5G will completely upturn the way advertisers think about creative, targeting and data – all of which sets us up for a completely transformed experience.”

“When it comes to creative, 5G means more dynamic and higher resolution formats will be easier to deliver, making visually exciting ads more achievable for brands to create and consumers to enjoy. While that means customer expectations will be higher, they will be more likely to enjoy these adverts due to a heightened overall experience.”

“On top of that, cloud-based processing enabled by 5G networks will boost speeds and connectivity massively, meaning devices can offload processing into the cloud. That allows even more devices (particularly remote, inaccessible, or mobile devices) to be connected, meaning advertisers can reach consumers across more channels than before.”

“If that wasn’t enough, I’m expecting 5G to hugely impact the quantity and quality of permission-based data circulating the ecosystem. This data can be used by advertisers to target at a much greater scale than ever before. And that opportunity to look at audiences in a more granular way will open up targeting opportunities for brands, making ads more efficient and better placed.”

Angela Logothetis, CTO of open network division at Amdocs
“The hype around 5G has been matched by a high level of investment by mobile operators. We’re now seeing the first live networks being made available to consumers with EE’s 5G network launching today. EE will now be exploring it they can run multiple networks for specific use cases – from health to manufacturing, logistics, connected vehicles and consumer connectivity.

“Network slicing, a method of using dedicated virtual networks with functionality specific to the service or customer over a common network infrastructure, will play a critical role in this. It enables operators to meet the needs of different vertical services, create new business models and generate new revenue streams. It will be crucial to ensure that operators can generate the revenue to allow them to continue their 5G network expansion.”

Zoran Vasiljev, CEO of Apigate
“Consumers in the UK are today welcoming new 5G services from EE, which will be available in certain cities. Vodafone is not far behind, turning on its 5G service in the UK from July. However, the continued roll out of 5G into other parts of the country is reliant on operators successfully generating revenue from their new networks, across the consumer and business markets. This could initially be a challenge considering subscribers need to invest in new 5G-compatible handsets, which are limited and costly.

“Operators must open up their networks to new partners that can help them expand into innovative lines of business, ensuring they do not simply become bit pipes for other companies’ services. With verticals such as automotive, healthcare, media and gaming looking to reap the benefits of 5G, partnering with businesses in these sectors is a sure way to help operators generate a return on investment. By using open source technology, operators can open up their networks to third parties, such as cloud service providers, mobile applications and developers, to reach new customers and access new revenue streams beyond the standard connectivity pipe.”

Ingo Flömer, VP of business development and technology at Cobham Wireless
“5G will undoubtably unlock a range of exciting new consumer and business use cases. However, the new connectivity standard fails to address a more pressing problem: the lack of reliable mobile connectivity in many under-connected areas of the UK.

“‘Not-spots’ don’t only exist in villages and rural areas of the country; getting 4G mobile coverage is still a massive challenge for subscribers on major over ground rail routes, transport tunnels, and in infrastructure like sports stadiums, airports and music venues. 5G might present lucrative business and consumer cases, yet there’s a lot of revenue still to be unlocked by deploying 4G. In-stadium services to enhance the fan experience, for example, or ad-supported media and entertainment mobile streaming on commuter trains.

 “There will come a time when blanket 5G coverage is needed, but more important is the necessity for adequate 4G mobile coverage now, to guarantee quality of service for consumers, and support business and operator growth, in all areas in the UK.”

Leigh Moody, UK managing director at SOTI
“In a world that becomes more connected by the minute and reliant on the infrastructure that permits that connectivity, today’s news that EE’s 5G network has now gone live in six UK cities is extremely exciting for UK business. Mobile is about to get faster, smoother and better with 5G. It is a more capable cellular standard that has positive implications for the Internet of Things (IoT). As the demand for data increases, 5G mobile networks are set to take on a support role by connecting elements of almost every business, allowing enterprises to offer new and better services, and shape new business models.

“Of course, the 5G rollout will bring challenges, not least to companies that will have to upgrade existing infrastructures to get the benefits. As connections proliferate and ever more data crosses digital boundaries, businesses must respond to increasingly strict regulation that ensures the safety and privacy of that data. This requires businesses to build a comprehensive overview of their own IoT and safeguard data accordingly (a process that can differ substantially from that required to secure ‘ordinary’ data). In particular, they must differentiate customer and business data carefully. The direction of travel is clearly for businesses to operate through mobile first technology, and the advent of 5G will greatly enhance the quality of service and opportunities this provides. Savvy enterprises are already strategising their use of IoT in the 5G era and acting upon those plans.”

Chris Bennett, managing director EMEA at Pixability
“The arrival of 5G brings with it the promise of better capabilities to power our smartphones and increases the potential for mobile content. Its UK launch is very timely for the exploding video market, especially for subscription video on demand (SVOD) platforms, which will benefit from its reduced latency and increased reach.

“We are likely to see brands focussing more on mobile ad formats, engaging with their target audiences through easier access to video streaming. Consumers are already spending over two hours a day on their phones; the introduction of 5G will only increase this, and it will be interesting to see how this figure changes as it becomes more established.

“5G will bring better speed, improve user experience, and ultimately increase engagement overall.”

Samuel Huber, founder and CEO of
“Advertising is moving from an attention-grabbing economy to an experience economy, with richer, and less aggressive messaging. The much-anticipated launch of 5G in a number of UK cities will open new opportunities in this regard – brands will be able to push richer, higher quality content to their audience, wherever they are. Advertisers can now optimise for the experience without worrying about the bandwidth. Static display will progressively be replaced by 3D interactive creatives, or 360 dynamic videos, which create more value across the ecosystem: delivering a less intrusive experience for the consumer, more money for the publisher, and better results for the brand.”