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Innovation is an important topic to discuss since it is really what’s driving 5G deployment. At the Infoblox SP virtual summit organized by Telecom Review, Ooredoo Qatar represented by its CTIO, Günther Ottendorfer, talked about the key technology areas that the company is engaging in, to accelerate that growth and that innovation.

“Focusing on any important topic to drive that growth is the densification of the networks. What we want and expect from 5G is that we have really good services, nearly ubiquitous, and we have been pushing these boundaries with several tools. The toolbox of the operator has to be broadened to all 5G opportunities”, he says.

According to Günther, on the one hand, 5G needs to concentrate much more on small cells in order to be closer to customers when providing 5G bandwidth and latency, with small cells being the tool to do that. The more we will offer our customers services that are ultra-low latency, the more we will go to the edge, the more important it will be to have a good small cells strategy.

On the other hand, the paradox of 5G standardization is that it is trying to achieve so many things: first ultra-high bandwidth and ultra high speeds; second, ubiquitous network. For these ubiquitous networks, Ooredoo has been pushing with its partners the DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing) which is a very important technology that will allow 5G networks from the beginning to be quite ubiquitous.

Many other core technologies are important as well to deliver growth, one of them is network slicing, but the majority of them will be important to the B2B business while small cells include consumers as well.

All of these innovations are bringing more and more data into the network which is allowing cloud computing to become quite prevalent. Panel moderator, Jay Srage, CEO of Centrigent, addressed Ramy Boctor, CTO, Vodafone Qatar with that concern, asking him if there is still room to provide value-added services that are managed and hosted in this case?

Boctor commented that the room is becoming smaller, eventually, because of the aggressiveness of hyperscalers in this area. However, “it’s never going to be negligible or die. There will always going to be a room for us to provide value-added services in the cloud, probably a niche market, not for the global market, but still it is going to be there.”

To give an example, he provided a historic overview from the 60s, where IBM mainframe was in the market, known to be another version of the cloud, however, it faced connectivity challenges. After that, PCs came in, he said, and applications on PCs became high processing power: PCs were insufficient, and connectivity started growing, so we went back to cloud. “It’s a never-ending game between applications and processing power and connectivity. I don’t think it will ever stop as a business line especially with edge computing and 5G bringing us closer to the costumers with connectivity ready and available.”

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