5G: Lessons from the Road

5G: Lessons from the Road

5G is here.

The next decade will lead to unprecedented set of opportunities for each industry vertical. Network convergence is dominating business plans and the mobile industry is roaring ahead at a rapid pace. How can enterprise take advantage of these exciting new revenue and service opportunities, and what is expected down the road?

Chetan Sharma Consulting embarked on a unique 5GRoadShow with the help of our partners (AT&T, GSMA, Qualcomm – thanks!) to have a series of conversations with experts in the field to explore applications and services and help our community prepare for trends that will shape the global GDP. These were no soundbite panels but rather serious deliberations and deep look into how 5G might shape various industry verticals and emerging technology domains. Each session took a critical look at the realistic timelines, 5G features that will enable new business models and startups, and the disruption roadmap for the industrial sector. The benefit of such a format was that we were able to go really deep into the discussions that surfaces the nuances of opportunities, challenges, and the roadmap.

This note summarizes our discussions from the road.

5G and Edge Computing – Seattle

We believe that Edge is a major paradigm shift. As such, we devoted quite a bit of brain power to understand the evolving landscape and released perhaps the most comprehensive analysis of the space: Edge Computing Framework (w/ MobiledgeX), Edge Computing and Sports (w/ Intel), and Edge Internet Economy (w/ AlefEdge). For the session, we had experts from Sprint, GSMA, Intel, and AlefEdge.

  • Edge is not an extension of the cloud but rather a necessary architectural upgrade
  • 5G needs Edge more than Edge needs 5G. While Edge benefits from 5G, it doesn’t necessarily need it, it all comes down to the use cases and cost economics
  • In China, Operators and OTT are forming JVs to address the opportunity while US operators are a bit more tentative about the opportunity
  • China’s industrial policy gives it a leg up in the rollout of 5G and Edge with more robust roadmap and use cases
  • Data residency and privacy laws are also a factor in enterprise consideration for the Edge
  • The use cases are plentiful both in the consumer space and in the enterprise domain esp. in the enterprise area where one can deploy Edge surgically and not be dependent on a nationwide footprint
  • Edge will enable new economic and business model in the ecosystem, disrupt value-chains, and create new revenue streams

5G and Smart Cities – San Diego

Smart cities framework brings together multiple technologies, different parts of the ecosystem, and new economic models together. With the help of experts from Qualcomm, Aptiv, City of Carlsbad, and GSMA, we explored how 5G and Smart Cities might interact and create a platform for new services and applications.

  • Everyone focuses on big Smart City projects that can take years to complete, but there are short-term wins that each city can focus on without breaking the bank for e.g. using city lighting infrastructure to expand connectivity, using sensors to manage traffic, environment, crime, etc.
  • Smart cities are going to be most successful with public-private partnerships and with the exploration of new business models wherein city provides the infrastructure and private industry provides the ability to utilize the data and create new services.
  • There are new services such as autonomous vehicles or connected vehicles (and associated services), crime detection and prevention, traffic management, city services, tourist services, etc. that require collaboration of many entities in the value chain.
  • Data privacy, data sharing, deriving intelligence from data requires rules and laws so that everyone is aware of the boundaries. These will vary from city to city, state to state, country to country so design of services needs to take that into account.

5G and HealthCare – Dallas

Healthcare represents the biggest piece of any nation’s economy and is ripe for disruption. From using VR to assist in live surgeries to monitoring continuous streams of data from person’s body, we are on the cusp of dramatic change. For this discussion, we had executives from AT&T, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and Nokia.

  • HealthCare is ripe for disruption, but it is also the industry that doesn’t embrace technology that quickly.
  • While other industries like Automotive and Manufacturing have processes in place to provide input to the 3GPP standardization process, healthcare to date hasn’t really established any process to gather requirements and work on the pipeline into the standardization process.
  • The opportunities are enormous with one extreme being complete transformation of very complex healthcare procedures like brain surgery, spinal fusion procedures, etc. to simple integration of patient data monitoring into the well-being of citizens. (we actually demonstrated the spinal fusion procedure in the world’s first VR remote surgery demo at Mobile Future Forward last month. At this event, Dr. Kalil Abdullah who is a renowned brain surgeon talked about how overlaying of data on the actual brain tumor surgery procedure can be immensely helpful to the surgeons and staff.
  • Hospitals are deploying mmWave to provide new capabilities to the doctors and patients such as the use of VR for pain management therapy or transmission of high-resolution images.
  • There is no evidence that 5G will cause any damage to human health. While more studies should be done, our current engineering, statistical, and medical knowledge points to no risk at this point.
  • New medical devices decouple physical healthcare facilities with patients and even decouples doctors with patients. HealthCare facilities might become datacenters that connect patient data with machines in real-time providing invaluable data and analysis to doctors.

Chetan Sharma Consulting has been doing some pioneering work in understanding the business and impact of 5G and has published 12 papers to date on various aspects of 5G business and economics.

Thanks everyone who joined us on the road and thanks to our partners for making the success of 5GRoadShow possible. I am sure we will have more conversations in the coming days and months on how to make the 5G journey productive.

If you would like to get involved with our next year events, please feel free to reach out.