Telefonica CTO Enrique Blanco tells Harry Baldock,

All of the requirements they have today can be fully satisfied with 4.9G capabilities that we have in our network. This means that all the LTE-M and all the IoT requirements we currently have can be delivered using 4.9G. That's in terms of our customers' needs today. But, if you analyze what is going to happen over the next two or three years, in terms of delivering Industry 4.0 initiatives, those needs are going to evolve. We need to be ready. 

Blanco is among the half dozen most respected engineers in world telecom. He's been responsible for hundreds of millions of lines for Telefonica in Spain, England, Germany, and Brazil. He's been working on Edge networks and IoT for several years. He's right some new industrial uses will develop, but I expect limited impact. It's very expensive to retrofit a factory and relatively few new factories are being built. Even if the systems prove out, few factories are likely to be upgraded soon. Enrique is more optimistic and could be right. 

I've been horrified by the false claims about 5G from politicians, pundits, and especially the equipment vendors. At least for years, all large medical, public safety, IoT, and entertainment apps will run fine on any decent 5G LTE network. 5G is good stuff that adds important capacity. Consumers want it, especially as decent phones have fallen in price to $285-450. None of the "brave new world" uses will have much impact for years.

All the "studies" of economic returns from 5G are based on applications said to require 5G. Since most can be performed with 4G, these "studies," especially from Qualcomm, are not worth the electrons they come to us on.

Don't believe the hype.