Opportunities at the intersection of 5G and IoT

Opportunities at the intersection of 5G and IoT

There are two important discussion points in the mobile industry today are 5G and IoT. So, we decided to cover both of them under the same umbrella at last week’s Mobile Breakfast Series. The audience was glued, the speakers were brilliant, the weather was vintage Seattle, and I had a great time moderating the session. My thanks to our sponsor Netcracker for supporting the event.






We had some excellent speakers who not only have the command over the subject but have a vision for the future. The audience was treated to a fantastic intellectual discussion on the topic.

Mark McDiarmid, VP – Radio Network Engineering, T-Mobile

Mark McDiarmid has 24 years of experience in the wireless industry in both domestic and international operations. Currently, Mark serves as VP, Radio Network Engineering and Development for T-Mobile US, where he leads several teams of industry-leading engineers focused on creating robust, operationally-efficient, and economic radio network designs. Recently, Mark was responsible for defining the evolution and system design of T-Mobile US’s HSPA+ and LTE mobile broadband network including the design and operationalization of new radio network transport solutions based on IP and Ethernet.

Hank Skorny, SVP – IoT, Neustar

Hank Skorny is Senior Vice President of Internet of Things at NeuStar, Inc. Mr. Skorny has extensive experience in the mobile software and services industry as well as in PC software for 25 years. Prior to joining Neustar, Mr. Skorny served as the Vice President of Software & Services Group and General Manager of the Intel Services Division at Intel Corporation, where he was responsible for the strategy and delivery of unified software services across device and operating systems including enterprise, cloud, IoT and developers.  Prior to that he was Chief Strategy Officer and SVP of RealNetworks, Inc., and President and Chief Executive Officer of mobile messaging startup, Thumbspeed, Inc. until its successful acquisition. Earlier in his career, Mr. Skorny directed product management, marketing and development teams at AOL, Adobe Systems, Microsoft and Apple Computer.

Paul Brody, Strategy Leader, Technology Sectory, EY

Paul Brody is Americas Strategy Leader, Technology Sector at EY. He is proficient in mobile finance strategy planning, technology of mobility and internet of things, with 20 years of consulting and strategy experience in mobile and electronics. Prior to joining EY, he served as Vice President and Global Industry Leader of Electronics at IBM. At IBM, he is responsible for building IBM’s services business in the mobile space, including the partnership with Apple, and developing solutions for connected devices.  Prior to IBM, Paul worked at McKinsey & Co. Paul has a degree in Economics and a Certificate in African Studies from Princeton University.

Dr. Rasmus Hellberg, Senior Director, Qualcomm

Rasmus Hellberg joined Qualcomm in 2006 and leads Qualcomm’s corporate technical marketing team that drives Qualcomm’s visions for future technologies, such as the wireless evolution, the path to 5G and the evolution of mobile computing. Rasmus has spent 20 years in the wireless industry and started his career in product management, working on the Japanese PDC system, the first commercial WCDMA products, and later on CDMA2000 1X and EV-DO focusing on radio access network products. Rasmus holds a Ph.D. in electromagnetic wave propagation and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from the University of Stockholm, Sweden.

Some of the highlights of our discussion:

  • It is undisputed that US wrested the 4G initiative and led the world in deployments. The last phase of network growth with LTE in the early 2010s was the fastest G technology seen by the industry in the US.
  • While Korea and Japan have clear motivations to be the first in 5G, US operators have recently taken over the headlines with more aggressive 5G trials and schedules.
  • The initial 5G deployments are primarily going to be around fixed wireless (2017) with more focus on macro networks after 2019 and beyond.
  • One of the focus areas is going to be deploying networks at a lower cost. Without lowering the costs, operators will have a tough time maintaining their margins.
  • Open Access Networks offer a fundamental new way to think about network economics however we are still quite early in figuring how this will all work.
  • There are a number of possible use case scenarios for 5G such as AR/VR/MR, Autonomous cars, video streaming, etc.
  • The advent of SDN/NFV will help with both 5G and IoT solutions by helping creating services at a much faster pace and more economically.
  • While there is a lot of discussion around 5G, let’s not forget that LTE will go on for a long time. With LTE-A and new features coming in, many of the said 5G features can be accomplished in “4G.”
  • What is clear that we will get rid of the classic circuit-switched technology and move to all IP networks fairly soon in the US.
  • 5G world has to deal with extreme cases of low latency and high bandwidth and high latency and low bandwidth.
  • There will be sizable 5G investments in the US compared to the Asia and Europe.
  • WiFi is effectively free but the management and to provide high quality of service is quite expensive. So, we will see a shift from WiFi to unlicensed LTE. This will help lower the cost of data delivery.
  • The main focus of large IoT deployments is around asset utilization that leads to enormous cost savings and change in business models. For example, MRI machines are multi-million dollar machines but for the majority of the times they sit idle because they are not connected and there is no marketplace that can broker needs and availability of the MRI machines.
  • Blockchain will be a key component for IoT security which is going to be a big problem as the attack surface for hacks increase fairly rapidly.
  • Sigfox is an interesting player but long-term viability is in question.
  • Computing at the edge and distributed capability will be key to IoT success.
  • T-Mobile has done an incredible job with new business models
  • Smart city business models are still immature and the first company to create a blueprint for deployment is going to win out.
  • IoT needs some of the basics that Internet has already built in like DNS and an ability to thwart attacks.

It was a great discussion on some key 5G and IoT issues in the industry. We look forward to carrying on the conversation at Mobile Future Forward. Hope you can join us on Sept 27th. Until next time, have a great summer.