Telenor CEO says 5G to come gradually, not via mass investment

OSLO, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Norway’s Telenor expects investments in so-called fifth-generation mobile phone networks (5G) to be more gradual than the rapid roll-outs of earlier networks, Chief Executive Sigve Brekke told a conference in Oslo on Tuesday.

The company has about 174 million mobile phone subscriptions across 13 markets in Scandinavia, Asia and its Central-Eastern Europe region. Brekke made the following statements regarding 5G networks:

* It’ll be different from what we had on 3G and 4G. They were basically a complete network update. 5G is different and I don’t think you’ll see anyone coming in as new entrants and taking a position in 5G

* It’ll only be the ones who already have a solid wireless and fixed position in the market

* It’ll also be more business case driven. We won’t roll out in an entire country and hope there’s a business case. It will be a much more gradual roll-out, driven by specific cases

* No customers will need 5G for current services. They are more than served by the 4G-pluss networks that we have now

* So don’t expect a big investment plan like the one we had on the upgrades from 3G and 4G

* It’ll also take a long time before 5G hits the emerging markets. It’ll be Norway and Sweden first and later for the rest of the portfolio (Reporting by Joachim Dagenborg, editing by Terje Solsvik)