Telefonica’s network and infrastructure strategy director says that companies who rush 5G risk making costly mistakes

Telefonica has warned that operators who rush out 5G before they are fully ready will risk bringing an inferior version of the technology to market. The company has said that it will not be ready to implement 5G services until at least 2020.

Spanish language news service EFE quoted Telefonica’s network and infrastructure strategy director Javier Guttierrez as saying that any 5G networks bought to market before that date would be "very rudimentary".

“If someone starts deploying 5G next year, they will have to do so via pre-commercial technology that will surely need to be updated at a software level and will also probably to change equipment later level,” Guttierez told journalists from EFE.

Telefonica recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nokia to collaborate on 5G testing in Germany. The agreement will see the two companies working together on a series of initiatives that will test 4.5G, 4.9G and full 5G services at a series of testbeds throughout Germany.

“Our innovation collaboration in Germany follows a global agreement with Nokia to explore technologies on the path to 5G. Having access to Nokia’s latest portfolio will enable pre-testing and understanding new technologies thus helping us to further enhance the user experience in our network,” said Cayetano Carbajo, CTO, Telefónica Germany.

Elsewhere, Telefonica is eyeing expansion in South America as it mulls a potential £650 million IPO in Argentina and a potential £5.2 billion investment in Brazil’s fibre networks.