By Chris Donkin

Gurus grapple with breakthrough claims

LIVE FROM MWC19 LOS ANGELES: A panel of marketing and technology experts offered diverging views on the importance of claiming 5G firsts, following a slew of announcements made by a range of companies over the last two years.

Representatives from network densification specialists Airspan, Boingo, Nokia and Telefonica mooted the relevance of breakthroughs being promoted by companies around the world during a panel on marketing the new network technology.

Nokia head of mobile networks marketing Sandro Tavares (pictured, second from right) warned “we have to be a little bit careful [that] we’re throwing out news and claiming firsts that are meaningful.”

He said with any new technology “you’re going to have a lot of firsts,” adding “it’s important as you show you’re pushing the boundaries and really showing momentum in the development of the technology, but as an industry we have to be careful”.

Telefonica technology and architecture SVP Juan Carlos Garcia (pictured, far right) pointed out “every one of us have been first in 5G to something,” but noted it was more important to be first with applications useful for the customer.

Making progress

Being the first to achieve something which fundamentally changes how something gets done was cited by Airspan VP strategy and marketing Damiano Coletti (pictured, second from left) as an example of a valuable claim.

He added: “If we look at the new use cases, that’s going to be important in terms of firsts. The first private networks [or] the first implementation of new architectures.”

Boingo CTO Derek Peterson (pictured, centre) highlighted the importance of showing progress and industry momentum.

“Being first is important as it allows you to challenge what’s been done before,” he said. “When it comes to that perspective, being first is showing an innovative spirit and challenging yourself and your organisation.”

Peterson added it opened doors to partnerships and allows further advances and adaptations to be made.