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



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.


Optional Security Features for 5G Technology Poses Risks

The next generation wireless technology is being touted as the most secure yet.



Photo of Dan Elmore of the Idaho National Labratory

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2022 – 5G technology can still present security concerns despite being touted as the most secure of the cellular generations, said Dan Elmore of the Idaho National Laboratory at a 5G Future event Thursday.

In response to the emerging challenge of validating 5G security protocols and data protection technologies, the Idaho National Laboratory established its Wireless Security Institute in 2019 to coordinate government, academic, and private industry research efforts to foster more secure and reliable 5G technology.

While 5G network offers a “rich suite” of security features in the standards, most of it is optional for manufacturers and developers to choose to implement in their system or device, said Elmore, who is the director for critical infrastructure security at the INL. This poses a significant challenge for 5G, particularly for critical infrastructure applications, as consumers may not know how standards are implemented, Elmore said.

Elmore urged consumers, especially federal agencies, to ask the hard questions and consider “what vulnerabilities might be present in how they [manufacturers and developers] employ those standards that could be exploited.”

5G is designed to allow cellular devices to connect at higher speeds with lower latency, the delay in loading requests, than previous generations. Already, wireless carriers are incorporating it into devices and working on national 5G networks.

Because of its facilitation of real-time monitoring, 5G technology is expected to help tackle critical issues like climate change and environmental sustainability.

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5G Will Help Enhance Environment Protection and Sustainability, Conference Hears

The technology has already been used by companies to monitor and make more efficient systems to reduce emissions.



Photo of Bourhan Yassin, CEO of Rainforest Connection

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2022 – Because of its facilitation of real-time monitoring and more efficient use of systems, 5G technology will help tackle climate change and beef up environmental sustainability, an Information Technology and Innovation Foundation event heard Tuesday.

5G technology’s ubiquitous connectivity and lower latency enables climate technology that decarbonizes manufacturing plants, enables rainforest monitoring, and limits greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

5G also enables real-time traffic control and monitoring that can help minimize carbon footprint, said John Hunter from T-Mobile, which has a large 5G network thanks in part to its merger with Sprint.

Finnish 5G equipment supplier Nokia has invested in smart manufacturing relying on the speed of 5G in its plants, which it said has resulted in a 10 to 20 percent carbon dioxide reduction and a 30 percent productivity improvement with 50 percent reduction in product defects.

Non-profit tech startup Rainforest Connection has used 5G technology to implant sensitive microphones into endangered rainforests in over 22 countries around the world. These microphones pick up on sounds in the forest and transmit them in real time to personnel on the ground.

These highly sensitive machines are camouflaged in trees and can pick up sounds of gunfire from poaching and chainsaws from illegal logging activity from miles away. The technology has proven to be significant in rainforest conservation and will enable researchers and scientists to find innovative solutions to help endangered species as they study the audio.

“By being able to integrate technologies such as 5G, we can accelerate that process… to achieve the mission [of mitigating climate change effects] sooner than we expected,” said Rainforest Connection CEO Bourhan Yassin.

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Tech-Backed Infrastructure Firm Says Private Financing Needed for Shared 5G Facilities

Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners representative says investors must step in as large carriers are burdened by high costs of 5G rollout.



Photo of Drew Clark, Andrew Semenak, Darrell Gentry and Joe Plotkin at Broadband Communities by Benjamin Kahn

HOUSTON, May 3, 2022 – A representative of an infrastructure firm affiliated with Google’s parent company Alphabet on Monday emphasized  the need for private financing in funding open access networks for 5G expansion.

Noah Tulsky, partner at Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, participated in a panel on private financing of broadband infrastructure projects as part of Broadband Breakfast’s Digital Infrastructure Investment during the Broadband Communities annual summit here.

Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners is an independent company. Alphabet is one of many investors in SIP, alongside Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and StepStone Group.

Photo of Shrihari Pandit and David Barron (on Zoom), and, Drew Clark, Andrew Semenak, Darrell Gentry, Joe Plotkin

Tulsky stated that at the present, private investment into shared broadband infrastructure networks is particularly necessary in large part because it is capital intensive for large cellular carriers to expand their rollout of 5G networks.

The market climate of the moment makes it difficult to charge cellular customers higher data rates for 5G implementation as consumers are largely unwilling to pay such fees.

Broadband Breakfast’s event also focused heavily on ideal strategies for fiber builds with additional input from advisory firm Pinpoint Capital Advisors’ managing director Andrew Semenak, internet service provider Next Level Networks’ CEO David Barron and Chief Technology Officer Darrell Gentry, and ISP Stealth Communications’ CEO Shrihari Pandit as well as its Business Development Director Joe Plotkin.

Pandit summed up the central question on discussion, stating “Will throwing more money at broadband help to solve key issues like closing the digital divide and making broadband access more affordable for millions?”

Tulsky has written previously in Broadband Breakfast on the symbiotic relationship fiber has with wireless, stating that “wireless broadband can complement fiber technology, which drive down consumer costs and help close the digital divide.”

He stated Monday that funding from Congress’ bipartisan infrastructure bill is likely the best way to build conduit and predicted that in less wealthy, low-density areas conduit will be funded by the government as opposed to private investors, while small and medium fiber companies will be consolidated into larger companies that focus on city-based fiber deployments.

Information about the presentations made during the “Private Financing” panel are available at the Digital Infrastructure Investment page.

T.J. York contributed reporting to this article.

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