‘Futurist’ says 5G may not yet appeal to most consumers

The highly-touted 5G wireless technology may be gaining momentum globally but it does not have that “appeal” to consumers yet.

Nicklas Bergman

Nicklas Bergman, renown technology investor, book author, and “futurist” also said “there is still a huge challenge for the industry (when it comes to 5G).”

Speaking in front of journalists at the Asian Carriers Conference (ACC) being held in Cebu, Bergman said many telecom operators and equipment providers are pushing “different things” around 5G.

However, Bergman says enterprise and private consumers “don’t really see use cases for 5G.” “That is the challenge. The telcos need to invest before they can see the revenues,” he said.

Today’s consumers are apparently still happy and that today’s fast 4G technology for mobile communications still satisfies most of consumer needs.

Bergman added that “consumers have been happy with GSM, 2G, 3G, and now 4G. Now everyone is happy to use 4G to stream YouTube videos, and NetFlix” with no network lagging.

For the average consumers, as with apps, 5G is not yet appealing. “I still don’t see end-users seeing the benefits yet,” he said.

Bergman, however, added that 5G holds a lot of promise. “As someone interested in technology, I can see them (benefits and applications of 5G). I can see that for robotics, IoT for enterprise, for autonomous driving, for many cloud applications. My impression is that it is still hard to convince companies to actually invest in it.”

He said 5G may follow the same development path that “old technologies” have taken.

“Like previous technologies, 5G may follow the same development in all technologies,” he said, adding that companies “need to experiment and find the use cases” for 5G before benefits can be seen and the technology “taking off.”

Bergman is one of the key speakers at the ACC, which is now on its 15th edition and is being hosted by dominant carrier PLDT.

According to the telco, more than 1,000 thousand delegates from a global community of telecom operators, mobile service providers, and technology-related enterprises attended the conference.

Aside from PLDT and its mobile arm Smart, representatives from Orange, MITTO, Tel Q Global, China Unicom, PCCW, SoftBank Telecom (from Japan), NTT Communications, Telstra, and Verizon, are participating in the event. 

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