“5G has got to play itself out. The standards are not there, the handsets are not there, in our view it’s not there,” Balan Nair told Cable Congress. “It requires a huge amount of capital and when you go to the high bands you need more cells. I think people would like to see a return on 4G first”.
Nair didn’t completely rule Liberty out of embracing the next gen technology, but preferred the current strategy of plugging gaps in mobile with a full MVNO.
Asked if Liberty would emulate Sky’s plan of an all-IP box, Nair said the satellite broadcaster had its own reasons that weren’t needed in cable, where there were already IP elements.
Were such a move be considered the first thing to go IP would be the user interface, then VOD and then linear. Already Liberty has integrated Netflix and Nair said other IP services would be added. “Amazon’s not on that list,” he remarked. “When our interests and amazons interests are level then maybe.”
An IP service for customers who didn’t want a box was a possibility, but with a new rollout the set-top remains an integral part of the Liberty proposition.