In Warsaw, another edition of Innovation Gardens Summit is coming to an end, organized by Orange Polska. The invited companies are both the largest manufacturers of telecommunications and network equipment, as well as start-ups and service companies. The event is three days of presentations, lectures, workshops and networking of key players on the technology market. The lectures are accompanied by a trade fair where manufacturers showcase innovative solutions, including a sample of what was presented at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
This year’s theme was 5G. Manufacturers and operators have already started the race and reserve passwords to promote their 5G ecosystem. So we have “5G is on”. (Huawei), “5G now” (Cisco), but also “5G Ready” (Play). What’s interesting, in the case of the latter one there was as much noise as controversy. T-Mobile has just officially announced that the District Court in Warsaw has issued a decision which may block the emission of advertising materials as part of the Playa “5G Ready” campaign. The court issued a restraining order against T-Mobile Polska, which accuses P4 of unfair competition. The court’s decision on the injunction is in T-Mobile’s opinion but does not yet constitute the final settlement of the dispute. The purpose of the decision is to secure T-Mobile’s losses. However, the court temporarily ordered Play to stop disseminating information about the “5G Ready”.
In the case of 5G during the conference, apart from the traditional presentations of the technical capabilities offered by 5G networks, the most important were the possible applications. This is not surprising. In the case of 5G, the open question is, of course, to what extent it will be a technology that will directly benefit consumers (who do not need such high speeds in smartphones) and to what extent the applications will be typically B2B/B2B2C.
Operators are looking for inspiration and ideas in identifying and implementing new services that use 5G’s capabilities. Consumers do not think in these categories. A survey conducted in 34 countries by GSMA Intelligence shows that consumers perceive 5G as a continuation of previous generations of mobile technologies. It is therefore no surprise that the highest expectations of users (54%) are associated with higher bandwidth and improved network coverage (41%). The key question is whether the consumer will be able to really pay for faster connections. Moreover, expectations regarding coverage should rather be cooled, as the construction of the network will be gradual. Only one in four consumers expects 5G to deliver innovative services and 20% believes that 5G will mark the beginning of a new era of equipment. Interestingly, a quarter of consumers do not know what to expect from 5G at all.