Flourishing 5G? The critical business case for full fibre
By: TMT Finance
"We are all consuming much more data on many more apps and this continues to grow exponentially,"
In July, the UK Government published its long-term strategy for UK telecommunications, aimed at driving large-scale investment in fixed and wireless networks – the networks that are vital for the UK to remain competitive in an increasingly digital world.
But it said that significant changes are needed if the majority of the UK population is to get access to 5G, with full fibre infrastructure an absolute priority. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport report (Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review) concluded that a raft of initiatives were needed to promote a quicker rollout. Particularly when South East Asia and the US are making great strides in terms of development.
Living up to expectations
According to Mesch, Verizon recognised early on the importance of investing in fibre and is now able to use that to lead the way in 5G applications.
Equally, Alex Goldblum, CEO of Eurofiber, a Benelux based digital infrastructure provider, said that he has noticed a growing appetite by new investors into the space such as pension funds to invest in advance comms infrastructure. He also argues that the investment framework needs to be stimulated.
"It is not only about more investment, but about creating more certainty surrounding the investments,"
He continued: "5G is much more than a successor of 4G. It is the digital fabric of a data-driven society, disruptively combining mobility with ultra-high data throughput, ultra-high density of connected devices, ultra-high reliability, and ultra-low latency."
He sees 5G as vital for any group demanding future proof connectivity and security.
"5G is the future," Goldblum added. "And 5G will only live up to our expectations when deployed on top of dense fibre networks. Networks which can provide high capacity backhaul and fronthaul connectivity to the many, many 5G antennas and micro cells needed to deploy a ubiquitous 5G network."
Full fibre foundations
Ofcom recently revealed plans to support long-term investments in full fibre networks and the plans will help support the Government's ambition for 15 million homes to have access to full-fibre broadband by 2025.
This is important, as CCS Insight states that total global 5G connections are expected to reach almost 60 million in 2020 and up to 2.7 billion in 2025.
Openreach, Virgin Media, Vodafone, CityFibre and TalkTalk have committed to laying full-fibre broadband networks. In the US, competition is fierce. AT&T and Verizon have revealed that Indianapolis will be one of the first deployment spots for 5G this year. A city that Comcast and Charter has a large market presence in.
In the UK, 5G is live, as EE recently switched on the country's first live trial site at Canary Wharf, connecting real EE customers and businesses to 5G for the first time. The trial will see 5G switched on at 10 sites around East London. It is seen as a big step forward in terms of making 5G a reality but there are concerns that there is little consumer demand for the tech.
Mesch added: "Only a competitive wholesale full fibre player, building at scale, will be able to unlock the full potential of a full fibre for Britain." Mesch and Goldblum are speakers at the upcoming Comms Finance World (November 28, London); as part of the three-day leadership summit, TMT Finance World Congress 2018. The event, sponsored by EY, Tillman Infrastructure, Digital Bridge, Linklaters, Hardiman Telecommunications Upslide and the IFC offers more than 400 industry investment, M&A and finance professionals the opportunity to discuss and plan the biggest telecoms, media and technology infrastructure deals.
Mesch concluded: "You need to get the foundations right first. And that needs a lot more fibre. And a lot more fibre everywhere. If Government doesn't act to make sure that the investment conditions are right to get the fibre we will need in place, we won't even get out of the starting blocks in terms of 5G before other countries are on 6G, 7G or 8G."
For more information about Comms Finance World 2018, including tickets, please visit tmtfinance.com/
Page Updated Last on: Oct 20, 2018