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BT insists the future is more than just 5G

It might be dominating the headlines, demanding the lion’s share of CAPEX and a fresh opportunity to show some sort of innovation, but BT has reiterated the message that the future is more than just 5G.

Speaking at Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam, BT’s enterprise business CEO Gerry McQuade offered the room a timely reminder that there is a lot more to creating a future-proofed telco than rolling out an expensive and flashy 5G network.

“5G vision, whilst it is not the catalyst of the strategy, it is absolutely key in delivering it,” McQuade said his presentation.

The GSMA is suggesting telcos will spend more than $244 billion on 5G networks by the end of next year. While this is of course spread out across the operators globally, it is still a monstrous figure to generate ROI against when you consider the gloomy picture which is looming large across the consumer segments.

5G is unlikely to be a silver bullet to solve all the challenges which telcos are facing, and it probably won’t be the only reason the industry wins out against the OTTs who are causing chaos, but it is unavoidable. Telcos cannot exist in the world of tomorrow without 5G.

“5G vision, whilst it is not the catalyst of the strategy, it is absolutely key in delivering it,” McQuade said.

Aside from 5G network deployment, BT also has to consider fibering up the nation, reskilling itself internally, developing ecosystems around new solutions, fine-tuning the TV proposition which is set to launch next year and implement a software-orientated, agile and data-driven mindset in all business units.

The telco of today has a lot of transformation work to undertake to ready itself for the challenges of tomorrow. These are just a few of the elements to consider, though 5G is certainly a meaningful element of this patchwork of complexity. However, there is a lot more to the digital era than gigabit speed over the air.

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