Facebook's recent investment and partnership with Jio Platforms was met with a great deal of media and industry excitement. This move was widely touted as a coming of age of Digital India. The largest US tech companies such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft are looking to expand their global fortunes in the new digital economic frontier that is India with its 1.32 billion large consumer market. What is really at stake here and what does it mean in the broader context of India's economic digitization?
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.
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.
With Release 16 of the 3GPP 5G standards slated to be frozen next month and completed in June of 2020, the mobile industry is poised to embrace Standalone (SA) 5G this year. Qualcomm, a leader in 5G technology, introduced yesterday their third-generation modem-RF system, Snapdragon X60 which comes at an opportune time in the evolutionary timeline of 5G standards and marks a thoughtful pivot in Qualcomm's RFFE (Radio Frequency Front End) strategy.
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?
As the IoT and 5G have evolved the models have moved from a simple Sensor to Gateway, to Cloud, to Edge, to near Edge, to Mobile Edge hype and perhaps one to two more terms that are circulating out there in the hype cycle. The terminology is confusing and typically is market speak or used to hype a specific technology and location between the Cloud and endpoint device that will be used for the majority of the collection, compute, response, and storage of the data.
With the advent of 5G there has been growing interest in what the next-generation mobile network technology means for industry. Operators and industrial OT (Operational Technology) players have been investigating the use cases and potential value that the 5G promises and technology can bring to manufacturing, supply chain and the factory of the future. It is commonly known and expected that 5G will bring about massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC), Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communications (URLLC) and enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), but what do these use cases mean for manufacturers? Are these really the 5G promises that matter for the smart factory and the ongoing evolution of Industry 4.0?
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".
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.