The GSMA found the number of people living without mobile coverage dropped to 400 million by end-2022 from 1.8 billion in 2015.
During a round table discussion at MWC23 Barcelona, telecom operators’ executives highlighted the demand from enterprises to use mmWave 5G indoors. The move would mark a departure from the outdoor use cases typically deployed to date.
Juan Cambeiro, manager of 5G customer innovation at Telefonica, said the biggest opportunities for mmWave deployments by businesses were logistics and industry. He noted enterprises want to use the spectrum for control of everything that moves, including continuous route optimization of robots in factories using onboard cameras. Cambeiro added mmWave will enable businesses to remove cabling in factories while providing more bandwidth and security than Wi-Fi.
Verizon VP of device technology Brian Mecum said the company has deployed mmWave across more than 40,000 locations, explaining enterprises are waking up to the notion that managing Wi-Fi is a losing proposition. He noted mmWave connects enterprises to macro networks to give them more flexibility and security than Wi-Fi, along with voice integration with their existing phone numbers. “IT groups don’t want to manage Wi-Fi.“
Cambeiro noted mmWave could also be used to provide TV or video services for enterprises, which would eliminate the need for dedicated equipment. Over time, it could also be used to create a digital twin of a company to support manufacturing processes. “We have a lot of activity in other areas, but it’s going to take them [enterprises] more time because they have to follow a path of digitization,“ he stated.