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5G Stands to Impact Industry Before Consumers, Says Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg

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Screenshot of Hans Vestberg, CEO of Verizon

November 16, 2020 — “5G has capabilities that are far beyond being only for consumers,” said Hans Vestberg, CEO of Verizon. “5G offers eight additional capabilities, some of which are only for industry.”

“On 4G, you can connect 100,000 devices per square kilometer,” he said at Axios event on Tuesday. “Meanwhile, on 5G, I can connect one million devices.”

According to Vestberg, the design principals behind 5G were intended to transform industry and society in ways that previous generations of cellular communications networks were not. “If it were just about cell phones, we wouldn’t need 5G,” he said.

Previous advances in mobile technology were aimed at improving consumer experience. In the transition from 2G to 3G, two additional capabilities were included, speed and throughput. With 4G, live streaming capabilities were improved.

“When designing 5G we thought ‘we need to do even more’ to transform industry and society,” said Vestberg.

The Axios event brought together individuals from public and private sectors to demonstrate the impact 5G stands to have on different industries.

Iskander Rakhman, CEO of Orbi Prime, which makes video-recording glassware, detailed the ways that 5G will upend consumers’ video capabilities. “What we saw happen for music-streaming capabilities with 4G, we’ll see for video-streaming with 5G,” said Rakhman.

Orbi Prime, in collaboration with Telit, a global enabler of the Internet of Things, has manufactured the world’s first football helmet with 360° video cameras shooting in 8K at 60 frames per second. The ORBI 5G helmets will enable fans to experience the game from the player’s perspective.

Rakhman’s invention highlights the ways in which 5G is enabling companies to create breakthrough products and services.

“The high bandwidth and minimal delay of 5G is essential to bringing new types of experiences to increase engagement among fans of various ages,” he said, “this game-like, immersive experience for viewers would not be possible otherwise.”

Improved bandwidth and low latency is crucial

John Long, co-founder of Qwake Technologies, joined the discussion to review how 5G’s improved bandwidth and low latency is critical for emergency responders. With 5G capabilities, first responders can utilize visual communications platforms, which were previously inaccessible to them.

“5G has increased group coordination, allowed for greater information sharing, and allowed first responders to utilize video streaming platforms,” said Long.

Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin of Raleigh, NC, discussed how cities can use 5G to make informed policy decisions.

Baldwin was a founding member of Innovate Raleigh, a non-profit organization committed to making the region a top center for innovation and entrepreneurship in the nation, nine years ago.

“Part of our goal is to embrace innovation to better our community and use technology to make Raleigh smarter,” said Baldwin.

Baldwin said the city of Raleigh is aiming to utilize 5G not only to advance data on vital operations, such as climate change and traffic congestion, but also to empower the cities large gaming community.

Contributing Reporter Jericho Casper graduated from the University of Virginia studying media policy. She grew up in Newport News in an area heavily impacted by the digital divide and has a passion for universal access and a vendetta against anyone who stands in the way of her getting better broadband.

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CES 2023: Commissioner Starks Highlights Environmental Benefits of 5G Connectivity

Starks also said federal housing support should be linked to the Affordable Connectivity Program.

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Photo of FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks (left) and CTA’s J. David Grossman

LAS VEGAS, January 7, 2023 – Commissioner Geoffrey Starks of the Federal Communications Commission spoke at the Consumer Electronics Show Saturday, touting connectivity assistance for individuals who benefit from housing assistance as well as the potential environmental benefits of 5G.

The FCC-administered Affordable Connectivity Program subsidizes monthly internet bills and one-time devices purchases for low-income Americans. Although many groups are eligible – e.g., Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program enrollees – Starks said his attention is primarily on those who rely on housing support.

“If you are having trouble putting food on your table, you should not have to worry about connectivity as well,” Starks said. “If we are helping you to get housed, we should be able to connect that house,” he added.

Environmental benefits of 5G

In addition to economic benefits, 5G-enabled technologies will offer many environmental benefits, Starks argued. He said the FCC should consider how to “ensure folks do more while using less,” particularly in the spheres of spectral and energy efficiency.

“This is going to take a whole-of-nation (approach),” Starks said. “When you talk to your local folks – mayors – state and other federal partners, making sure that they know smart cities (and) smart grid technology…making sure that we’re all unified on thinking about this is exactly where we need to go to in order to drive down the carbon emissions.”

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CES 2023: 5G Will Drive Safer Transportation

More comprehensive data-sharing is made possible by the reduced latency of 5G, CES hears.

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Photo of Aruna Anand, Durga Malladi, and Derek Peterson (left to right)

LAS VEGAS, January 5, 2023 – Panelists at the Consumer Electronics Show 2023 on Thursday touted the potential for 5G to make transportation safer by enabling information sharing between vehicles and with infrastructure.

5G is expected to expand connectivity by attaching small cell connectivity equipment on various city infrastructure, including traffic lights and bus shelters. 

More comprehensive data-sharing is made possible by the reduced latency of 5G, said Aruna Anand, president and CEO of Continental Automotive Systems Inc., referring to connectivity communications times. Anand argued that making relevant information available to multiple vehicles is key to improving safety.

“We give more information about the surroundings of the vehicle to the car to enable [it] to make better decisions,” Anand said.

Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager for cellular modems and infrastructure at chip maker Qualcomm, described a 5G-enabled “true ubiquitous data space solution” in which vehicles and smart infrastructure – e.g., traffic lights and stop signs – communicate with one another.

Asked for predictions, Malladi forecasted an increased “blend” of communications and artificial intelligence technologies. Anand said 6G is expected to emerge by 2028 and make its way to vehicle technology by 2031.

Both realized and predicted innovations in 5G-enabled technologies have driven calls for expanded spectrum access, from private and public sectors alike. The Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the respective overseers of non-federally and federally-used spectrum, in August agreed to an updated memorandum of understanding on spectrum management

Although relatively new, this agreement has already been touted by officials.

The FCC, whose spectrum auction authority Congress extended in December, made several moves last year to expand spectrum access.

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FCC Permit ‘Shot Clocks’ Provides ‘Predictability’ to Wireless Infrastructure Builds: T-Mobile

Shot clocks are important to industry players, argued T-Mobile’s Tim Halinski.

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Photo of Nancy Werner, partner at Bradley Werner, LLC.

WASHINGTON, November 8, 2022 – Panelists on a Federal Communications Bar Association web panel discussed Monday whether benefits of the Federal Communications Commission’s “shot clocks,” which limit how long states and local governments can review wireless infrastructure applications, outweigh the increased pressures they place on state and local governments.

A shot clock’s deadline puts pressure on city officials’ negotiations with providers over the terms of infrastructure projects, said Nancy Werner, partner at Bradley Werner, LLC, a telecommunications legal and consulting firm. They also “put a lot of pressure on local governments…to make sure (they) have a reason to deny” a provider’s application if an agreement cannot be readily reached, Werner added.

Tim Halinski, corporate counsel for T-Mobile, argued Monday that shot clocks are important to industry players, although he acknowledged the validity of Werner’s concerns. T-Mobile and other providers benefit from expeditious permitting processes, as they look to accelerate the build out of 5G wireless technology.

“There’s no one size fits all,” Halinski said, “But it’s at least the starting point and provides that predictability in deployment that we need.”

The comments come as the FCC fields comments on new standards that would streamline the division of costs between third party attachers and pole owners. Critics say the financial and time delay burden in getting access to these poles have slowed and will slow the expansion of broadband in the country.

In 2018, the FCC instituted shortened shot clocks for small wireless infrastructure projects: “60 days for review of an application for collocation…using a preexisting structure and 90 days for review of an application for attachment…using a new structure.” The commission said the new, limited timeframes would facilitate the deployment of wireless infrastructure.

The FCC’s revised shot clocks for small wireless deployments was but one portion of the agency’s so-called “Small Cell Order” of 2018, which aimed to promote the expansion of 5G. To accomplish this goal, however, the order sought to eliminate regulatory roadblocks by limiting state and local governments’ authorities over wireless infrastructure permitting and their own rights of way. This tactic drew criticisms from many experts and local officials.

Nonetheless, in August 2020, the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals largely upheld the order in City of Portland v. United States.

“(The Ninth Circuit’s) decision is a massive victory for U.S. leadership in 5G, our nation’s economy and American consumers,” said then–FCC Chairman Ajit Pai shortly after the ruling. “The court rightly affirmed the FCC’s efforts to ensure that infrastructure deployment critical to 5G…is not impeded by exorbitant fees imposed by state and local governments.”

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