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MWC19: 5G faces multiyear hiatus before its three key enablers are ready

This year’s Mobile World Congress was a serious reality check. Operators and vendors alike cast aside a lot of the hype and over-optimism of the pre-commercial days and acknowledged that ‘true 5G’ would be really hard. The first wave of 5G – deployed with the 4G, mainly non-virtualized core and the integrated RAN – makes very little difference except to operators’ PR and governments’ self-satisfaction. This is especially true of the 90% of countries where millimeter wave spectrum is not yet available for 5G. This is not to belittle the transformative potential of 5G. It is just not ready yet in any real sense. A faster, more efficient mobile broadband radio is fine, but does not enable brand new business…

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