Expert: 5G Is More ‘Journey’ than ‘Destination’



Let’s take a 5G reality check.

Only one-half of the U.S. population will be using 5G networks in 2025, despite the hype surrounding the technology. Ana Tavares Lattibeaudiere, GSMA‘s head of North America, tells Channel Partners that 5G remains in the early stages. The full results have yet to appear.

Tavares Lattibeaudiere will share her insights during her “Demystifying 5G’s Arrival” session at Channel Partners Evolution in Washington, D.C., next month. It’s part of the 5G and Wi-Fi 6 conference track, presented with Light Reading and sponsored by Nextiva. She’ll discuss realistic 5G expectations, edge computing and virtual network functions.


GSMA’s Ana Tavares Lattibeaudiere

GSMA is a trade body that represents mobile network operators.

We asked Tavares Lattibeaudiere a few questions about 5G in the transcript below.

Channel Partners: What’s your biggest pet peeve about how the industry chatter/news cycle has been characterizing 5G?

Ana Tavares Lattibeaudiere: I think it’s too soon to evaluate 5G performance and utility based on current deployments. We are in the extreme early days of 5G, and as it is deployed to its full potential, the real value and utility of 5G will then become increasingly apparent. We need to understand that this is more a 5G journey and less of a 5G destination.

Hear from Ana Tavares Lattibeaudiere and dozens more top industry speakers at Channel Partners Evolution, Sept. 9-12, in Washington, D.C. Register now!

CP: What’s one fact about 5G that you hope the audience will remember from your talk?

ATL: We know 5G certainly brings eye-watering speeds; however, the real game-changer is “intelligent connectivity,” the fusion of these higher speeds with ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC) and massively scalable IoT solutions combined with technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data.

5G is truly a generational shift in technologies and there are so many new capabilities being introduced with 5G, including network slicing and edge. Network slicing simply helps to optimize the requirements of each vertical. By varying the characteristic of each network slice, operators can offer optimized service levels for different verticals such as automotive, drones, industrial manufacturing and IoT sensors. As an example, one network slice can serve a big amount of simultaneously communicating, low-bitrate IoT devices, and another may serve latency-critical applications such as augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR).

Edge provides benefits for very low-latency services because an operator can move contents closer to the users within the core and radio networks. Also, the cloud edge serves to offload the processing of 5G user devices. One practical example of this is an AR/VR device, which, instead of processing demanding 3-D video content itself, may transfer the raw data to the cloud edge for post-processing and receive the results back with only minimum delay. Unlike in previous generations, a low-latency, high-bitrate 5G network slice can handle this use case combined with the edge.

These examples show only a small snapshot of the new benefits 5G is capable of offering.

CP: What’s one tangible change to their business that partners can make as they prepare for 5G’s arrival?

ATL: It is important to understand that capabilities inherent within 5G are gradually evolving. New services, applications and ways to communicate, play, work and automate will change as rollouts and network slices are created. Start thinking now about how best to utilize the capabilities that 5G will bring. Devote time to learning about and contemplating new 5G use cases for your particular industry.

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