Guy Daniels, TelecomTV - Interview with Marcus Brunner, Swisscom (May 2016)

How far can operators contribute to the 5G standards process? Are developments being driven mainly by vendors, and are telcos able to put their needs first? For a relatively small telco like Swisscom, does it sit back and allow the larger mobile groups to dictate the pace of 5G development, or can it still play a role in standards work?

Q. What role do telcos play and how does he see the industry developing towards 5G.
It is important to follow the standardisation and bring in requirements on use cases that we don’t have today.

Q. How far can operators contribute towards the standardisation process?
They need to start preparing for operation of new technologies. Higher frequency and massive M2M communications have quite a few operational challenges that need to be understood. So it’s important to be part of the discussions even though others are involved in the specifications.
New business models and operational strategies? strategic decisions include deciding when to switch off 2G, understanding the IoT M2M space. We need to be very much aware of what is going on.
Skills required in the move towards SW-based architecture? Depends on what it is, we are now dealing with new products coming out weekly. With open-source cloud it is training on the job. Developing the right skills for the network takes longer.

Q. What are your views on open source?
Open source is not seen to be a problem provided the community has a governance model close to the standards model and come to an agreement. The OS challenge is to put the requirements in a form that developers know how to translate into system features.

Q. Is 5G a standalone project or an on-going evolution?
It is both, depending on the area. At the network level it is an evolution with higher frequency, greater flexibility and more capabilities. We don’t know what use cases will be here in 10 years time.

Why all telcos should contribute to 5G standards

Filmed at: ETSI "5G: From Myth to Reality" summit, Nice, France, 21 April 2016