INTERVIEW: The head of BT Consumer suggested marketing could be the next challenge operators face in terms of standalone (SA) 5G as deployments of the technology begin to pick up pace.

During MWC Barcelona 2022, Marc Allera told Mobile World Live the operator has no plans to sell SA 5G on the technical benefits of higher data rates, lower-latency and broader coverage compared with 4G.

Instead, “we’ll find a way to talk about the benefits” in a way which resonates with consumers and brings “technology to them in a really human way”.

Allera noted EE had taken time to “get the technology right” before presenting it to consumers and ensure the company doesn’t “oversell” the capabilities.

The metaverse is one such capability, Allera explained. He defined this as “a blending of the physical and digital worlds” which the operator could employ to boost the services it delivers in entertainment, sports broadcasting, gaming and e-commerce.

He cited a recent collaboration between BT and the BBC to deliver an immersive reality experience based on famed environmentalist David Attenborough’s The Green Planet TV series “right at the heart of central London”, by employing SA 5G.

Some familiar challenges remain in delivering on the promise of the metaverse, including “the need to invest” in infrastructure and keeping “our cost base as efficient and as low as it can be”, Allera noted.

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