5G Talk A Bit Too Early – Telco
As the onset of technology is being embraced by the country, the talk on the lips of many tech savvy individuals and businesses in the country has been on when exactly the next generation of wireless internet technology will arrive, namely 5G.
With the much awaited Coral Sea Cable expected to go online within the first quarter of 2020, the evolution in wireless internet technology is expected to greatly advance on the back of the 20 terabit link coming into the country on the back of a solid domestic fiber linking major centers around the country.
Current responses from major mobile telecommunication companies in the country have been that its introduction on their networks currently is not taking precedence in the near future, and rightly so considering the majority of rural Papua New Guinea are still dependent on 2G wireless enabled networks that are now been upgraded to either 3G or 4G platforms.
Last week Telikom CEO Xavier Victor, speaking at the Startup PNG convention, elaborated that while 5G is the future for communications he highlighted investment by the major telco in its 4G network would mean a two year buffer would be needed before the 5G push will made.
“5G is the future that is where technology is headed. I think at this point in time I think that is just a bit too early for Telikom and the KTH group of companies. “We have invested quite a bit in rolling out 4G.
We are probably late comers when it comes to rolling out technology in the country, the mobile network in particular.
“There will be sometime before we recover our investment before we can venture into 5G. However, Xavier did not rule out consumer pressure as a force that could bring about the technology. “Of course we will be forced by people like you here and the market here to review and look at our priorities when it comes to technology adoptions.
“But at this point in time we have great 4G service that is now operated by Bmobile. We have got 300 base stations across the country covering all provinces, I think it is still new and we should go out and make use of it, and then we can start talking about 5G in the next two years or so,” he said.
Meanwhile over on the other half of the competitive front, Digicel CEO Colin Stone, when asked last month on 5G, preferred to remain tightlipped on the subject, but also reiterated the need for consolidation of its current network of 1,050 towers.
“The world is full of surprises and you never know what might come around, but the reality is that we are focused on bringing more and more coverage to Papua New Guinea.
“5G is important for things like self driving cars and things like that, but really our focus is bringing more coverage to Papua New Guinea and upgrading our network to rural Papua New Guinea but we think that is really important to the growth of the country. “So if 5G is on our mind next year, well you know we don’t give away surprises.”
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