Will operators ever give up control and invite the wider world to join them in driving new digital service innovations that justify all that investment in their shiny new networks, via the promotion of standards-based APIs? By Sue Tabbitt.

5G’s success is tied to the speed, reliability and capacity of the other networks it will complement and augment, including 4G, but most especially fibre. Almost half of the respondents who work for operators said sufficient fibre is the top critical factor for 5G’s success.

The complementary technologies of network functions virtualisation (NFV) and software-defined networks (SDN) have made slower progress than was hoped.