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The artificial ‘5G race’ threatens to derail MNOs on the longer 5G journey

The old cliché that ‘life is a journey not a race’ should certainly apply to 5G. The technologies that are currently being deployed are not ‘full 5G’ but the first step in a platform evolution which will take place over the coming decade, encompassing continual change in the RAN, core, service architecture, spectrum and use cases. Meanwhile, vendors, operators’ marketing departments, and (unfortunately) governments are turning it into a race – who can be first to deploy even half-baked 5G, not because there is an urgent need for a new network, but for bragging rights over rival MNOs or countries. The artificial race can be seen as a relatively harmless bit of self-promotion, except when it damages the operator’s choices…

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