Not one to beat about the bush, Boost Mobile founder Peter Adderton is back in Australia for this weekend’s Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 Supercars race and he took some time out to chat all things Mobile this week with EFTM and he didn’t miss when it comes to 5G.

Adderton has never been shy of sharing his views on 5G, previously telling his customers not to buy it – even after it was enabled on the Boost network. That was last year, two years after Adderton told EFTM that 5G wasn’t making a difference for customers, a view he continues to hold – telling me this week that “5G is a complete and utter disaster and is basically just creating more capacity.

He says “I’m sitting back going, no, we’re not using more. In fact, the only way we could use more data, cause video is basically the essential part of data, is that we find more hours in the day and there isn’t any more hours in the day.

And so if you’re spending two or three hours streaming video, TikTok or whatever it is, you’re not doing it for five. Because you have to get a job.

He asks a simple question of mobile users: “What has it (5G) done for you?”

But he wonders about the business case for 5G at the network level, speaking of the Telcos, Adderton says “You know what it’s done for them? Cost ’em a hundred billion dollars to buy all the spectrum and to build a network. There’s no ROI (return on investment). So you can’t run a business where there’s no return on investment. And 5G has not created the return on investment. All the things that they promised. Go back and look at all the quotes that Andy Penn and everybody else said, drones and autonomous surgery and cars. And none of that’s eventuated, and so now what they’re doing is they’re moving to fix wireless, Replacing the cable guy.

However the move to 5G home broadband also has limitations according to Adderton, saying “Because Spectrum has a limitation. There’s only so much you can put on before the network slowly starts to slow down

It’s not like Peter Adderton doesn’t believe in network investment, but it seems clear there’s a difference between this shift to 5G and the previous generational shifts, he says “The move from 3G to 4G was a leap forward.

Because no buffering. Uber worked. Spotify works. It really was a big jump. But when we went from 4G to 5G, all that money they spent, what they should have done was just rolled it out slowly.

They should have made it more enterprise focused and just used it in areas where we basically needed faster speeds through capacity.

It’s an interesting thought really, making us all ponder if or when 5G has really made a difference to our mobile experience – perhaps something we’ll never really know.

At a consumer level, it’s hard to quantify, and Adderton thinks the roll out of 5G should have been focussed more on business “They just sold us all on 5G is going to be like a game changer for enterprise that’s gonna enable more applications, but there’s no killer app for 5G.  I’ve been saying that from day one

“They’re trying to keep the data prices high. They’re trying to keep the rate high so you can make some money to cover their investment, we are basically are paying the same price for 5G as we did for 4G just with a slight premium, but we didn’t get any back for it.”

It’s hard to ignore Peter Adderton, he’s made a stack of money off the mobile business – both here in Australia and importantly in a big way in the USA through Boost there – a company he no longer owns or has a stake in but still keeps a watchful eye on.

Instead his focus is now on growing his new mobile brand, Mobile X – an innovative custom billing play that has the capability to change the mobile landscape.

When it comes to data usage, Adderton points out that even if you are a heavy user of video that doesn’t have to impact your plan. He explained that “Mobile X is probably the only one in America, I think in the world, that allows you to set your video resolution, 480, 720, 1080 and 4K

4K uses like seven gigs an hour – I’m on four 80. I don’t even know the difference because it’s at the network level. So when I go into WiFi, it’ll go back to 4K.

The Mobile X application allows users to set their video streaming rate at the network level, so they are able to minimise their own data impact. “I don’t have to do anything. But when I go on the road, it drops down to 480. But I’m not streaming much on the road. If I’m doing anything, it’ll be a Twitter, it’ll be Instagram. But I’m not like watching Netflix for hours.

Not all of us spend as much time on Instagram and Twitter as Peter Adderton though, some people, as Adderton admits – are using data differently “Now there are people that go on the bus or trains, they’re consuming more data.

However we have to understand that research in America shows that 30% of the people use 80% of the data.  And it’s likely very similar here in Australia.

MobileX is off to a flying start in the USA, launching in Walmart stores and Adderton is keen to see the brand grow globally with potential deals in the pipeline. Australia though is a whole other story. More on that soon, along with what’s next for Boost, and even a rival race-series for Supercars?