Necessity is the mother of invention. There has been no moment of need in modern times as urgent as what we face today as humanity grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic. In three months, the virus has spread to over 180 countries around the globe, infecting millions, and has arrested the largest and smallest of economies. At the same time, it has created an unprecedented need for connectivity and communications. Now, more than ever, unconventional thinking and leadership as well as innovative applications of technologies such as 5G are dire necessities for addressing the many COVID-19-related challenges that are disrupting millions of lives and jeopardizing trillions in economic value.
The evolution of 5G infrastructure will not be homogenous. Operators will be deploying islands of 5G across a sea of 4G and 3G. They will be faced with the challenges of developing, deploying and managing services across hybrid infrastructures that will be comprised of a fragmented mix of the old and the new. In order to accelerate returns on 5G investments operators will need a common, integrated toolchain that allows service providers to scale operations and services across a mixed portfolio of technologies and operating environments.
For years the Smart Home has promised to enrich the lives of consumers and has inspired waves of manufacturer innovation such as smart speakers, intelligent thermostats and much more. While these innovations have offered incremental improvement in our home lives, the consumer reality has been a deluge of devices and services, greater complexity, and less security. In truth, the Smart Home remains elusive, the problems it intends to solve unclear. Only when manufacturers reach beyond devices and services with purpose-driven “Smart Living” solutions at home will this market cross the chasm to rapid market growth.
The global race for 5G is on with operators in advanced markets such as the US, South Korea leading the way with the first deployments of 5G networks in their respective markets. Given all the excitement and hype that has shrouded 5G over the last couple of years, telecom operators around the world are under pressure to jump on the 5G bandwagon as governments push to position their economies for the digital era. Especially for the U.S. and China, 5G has become a strategic economic imperative that both countries believe will determine the economy and doctrine that will lead in our digital future. But what does the 5G race mean for the emerging and developing markets? Do operators in these markets have the opportunity to rethink the network to enable new economic possibilities in the era of 5G?
You can't blame technology vendors and service providers for pushing the limits of marketing hype with Artificial Intelligence (AI). After all, it is hottest buzzword since cloud computing. But digital service providers in the emerging era of 5G need practical, real "AI" solutions to cost-efficiently scale their operations and deliver the quality of service that will deliver the promise of 5G to themselves as well as their customers. Hybrid approaches to AI are needed to accelerate return on investment as operators evolve their infrastructure and operations for a 5G future.
neXt Curve attended Sprint Business' Analyst & Consultant Day 2019 held in Sprint's office in Midtown Manhattan on the 25th of June with the goal of understanding how Sprint is progressing their enterprise strategy, executing on the evolution of their network toward 5G and building out their IoT platform and service offerings in becoming a "digital service provider".
neXt Curve was in Nice, France attending the premier global event for digital transformation in the telecommunications industry held from May 14th through May 16th and hosted by TM Forum. Leading vendors and operators converged to discuss what it will take help the telecom industry reinvent itself and aid telecom service providers in becoming digital service providers. Now that 5G has arrived in select markets around the globe, the pressure is on for telecom operators to transform their operating models to capture the value promised by the next generation network.
The 5G promise is broad and ambitious, but business leaders need to recognize that we are at the very beginning of this journey, and emerging technologies under the 5G umbrella are creating new opportunities for new entrants to fill the gaps as the world moves toward the promise of 5G such as 5G-enabled IoT, new shared spectrum resources, hybrid multi-cloud services brokering, network slicing on demand within mobile computing nano-data centers at the carrier edge.
neXt Curve attended the World Internet Conference 2018 in Wuzhen, China's premier conference on the digital economy and policy, which took place from the 6th to the 9th of November. This year's conference was sparsely attended by U.S. tech giants such as Apple and Google, but their absence didn't put a damper on the global scope of the event and its continued promotion of the Digital Silk Road.
While industry sages prognosticated the diminishing relevance of the tablet device category for the past three years as iPad and tablet sales slowed, Apple quietly amassed an installed base of over 400 million active iPads thanks to extended iOS device support. The newly announced iPad Pro is poised to bring about an inflection point in personal computing by changing the way we think of portable computing.