By Justin Springham

US operator tech chiefs offer 5G hopes

Yesterday’s CTO Session saw the network bosses from all four major US operators outline their hopes and expectations for 5G, exposing differing opinions on the impact the next-generation technology will have.

Sprint CTO John Saw declared 5G will be “the first G where we can disrupt verticals.” He added: “4G is a generic all-IP data network but 5G is focused on verticals. For example, I’m excited to see who the next Uber is in the healthcare industry.”

AT&T CTO Andre Fuetsch agreed 5G will open “new experiences we’ve never seen before,” adding the operator sees 5G as an integral part of its content strategy. “It’s about content, the creation of it and how it’s distributed.”

For Neville Ray, CTO of T-Mobile, the move to 5G is unlikely to pave the way to game-changing new services in the short-term. “Are we going to see massive innovation in the first two years? Probably not, but we’ll see augmented reality come alive, and HD video. Remember, the first two years of 4G didn’t bring us much new compared to 3G.”

Verizon’s chief network officer Nicola Palmer took a different tack, claiming bandwidth will be the big differentiator in 5G driving new use cases.