5 = 14 +

That was the ending slide from Pedro Riao (Ericsson, Germany) during the ICC 2015 panel on 5G Challenges and Opportunities. The message makes sense: 5G will be for 14+ different industries.

We are mid-conference but this year’s mantras are already clear; extreme diversity in requirements, network slicing, integration of vertical industries and the Internet of everything.

In this sense, during the panel on 5G Architecture, Simon Saunders (Real Wireless Limited) and Mischa Dohler (King’s College London) made remarks on the need for a change in the way we handle technology, as we saw earlier during the 2015 Johannesberg Summit. In short, we need to listen to the future users (industries) in order to understand their wishes–communication requirements–and involve them in the development of future solutions.

Yes, the vertical industries are the next frontier and the benefits in bringing them to the 5G community are unprecedented. But if we listen to the big industries and focus the development in fulfilling their wishes, what (or who) is going to guarantee that we also fulfill the requirements for those users that are becoming less lucrative? Who will be interested in those users bringing marginal profits when industrial communications are so appealing?

Maybe these changes will take decades, but is it interesting to see how the majority of the presentations and discussions are dominated by industrial communications.

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