Editor’s note: I had an editor who told me that if a title is a question, the answer is probably “no.”
A reflection of personal 5G from Cisco Live. And from Hanover Mess and from private networks in a 5G world. We like to be busy.
LAS VEGAS – Maybe the heat is making my mind restless. Or neon lights and crowds. But when I look at private 5G, I see an incredibly complex network of stakeholders and I see that the market is evolving at the same time as snail speed and lightning speed. CSPs want to monetize 5G by selling solutions at high price verticals. They are creating an approach to digital transformation that is not realistic with any kind of scale. Meanwhile, enterprise users, especially in markets with liberalized access to spectrum such as Germany, are undergoing their own digital transformation on their own terms. If it’s not muddy enough, Hyperscaler, one of the most valuable companies on the planet, is making a claim, creating ecosystems and marketing a product suite that they can put in front of customers with whom they are already well-established. And, of course, special systems integrators also have an important role to play. So what are the operators doing wrong, what else can they do and what does all this mean?
As far as what operators are doing wrong, it is probably better to say that what they are doing – moving from a transaction to a consultative sales model that hides complexity and focuses on delivering results – is not working fast enough. It is organizationally difficult to keep such pivots away from selling SIM cards and to create commoditized connectivity to sell baseless results that require different verticals. Mining, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, they are all different. That said, for public companies, shareholders often don’t think things are hard to do.
Boeingo Wireless Chief Technology Officer Derek Peterson put it this way in a chat: “If you are a public-trade company, you will be judged quarterly and it can be difficult. It takes time that you are investing this. How do you do that It is difficult for everyone to have everything. You’re taking a bunch of people on the network and trying to reconsider their partnership. But they are learning. They are learning fast. Maybe not fast enough. “
Boingo is one of Google Cloud’s private 5G Play support technology partners that follows similar steps from Microsoft and AWS. Provide a “turn-key” private 5G network with the option to manage, control, and run user-level functions in centralized and / or edge clouds. Peterson rightly points out that Boingo does not replace personal 5G Wi-Fi or distributed antenna systems, in the context of places where it specializes in connecting. “They want their DAS, they want their Wi-Fi and they want their personal network because they want it all. I’m trying to find someone who can do it all, there aren’t too many people. ”
Lots of straw is being made around ecosystem development as it relates to 5G sales in the enterprise. And that’s all well and good. But in that parable, “The [service providers] Getting out of the middle, ”Ken Ken Davidson of Cisco, Product Management Director for the IoT Control Center, told me on the sidelines of Cisco Live this week. “Service providers need to innovate in something different. What we’re seeing is … those who survive will become managed service providers. ”
Back in that pivot, Masum Mir, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Cable, Mobile and IoT, told me that operators are accustomed to “manipulating their networks” and adopting “long-distance system integration”. But it doesn’t work for personal 5G. Enterprises want fully cloud-driven, software-centric activities that slot into their existing IT organizations and operating models. “When that happens,” he said, “you removed the network system integration issue from the table.”
Is there a different tack that will help operators crack open enterprise, stream revenue and start delivering 5G-enabled digital conversions on a scale? My colleague James Blackman is reporting on this from London at an information event called Private Networks at 5G World. The program began with Omdia’s chief analyst, Pablo Tomasi, who talked about making private 5G replicable across the enterprise and scalable across the industry. He said launching private 5G could be a “big opportunity” for operators in a market where regulators have not set aside spectrum for enterprise use. “They could be the first to enter this new market,” Thomas argued. “Eventually regulators will liberalize the spectrum and the market will continue.”
This coincides with how Mir thinks about what other operators can do. “In other countries, can we partner with carriers that may have additional spectrum?… This is the same offer but uses their spectrum.”
Omdia launched 50 personal 5G products last year. “Which shows that everyone wants to be in this market,” Tomasi said. “But many of those big splashes are not commercial. Let’s be honest. This is a difficult scenario. What? [operator’s] Unique resource, ahead of the system integrator? But what about all that spectrum? “Some people tell me it’s a big asset. But it’s a barrier because the market only starts when it’s liberalized. “ Read James’s excellent coverage here.
Also from that event, Operator Defense Courtesy of Telia and Deutsche Telekom. Briefly from Henning Haus, Telia 5G Business Development Manager: “Two years ago, the CEO [of the industrial park] “It’s very important to go to telco,” he said. We need our own spectrum – to do it alone. And we have accepted it as an invitation. “
Back in Germany where many industry giants quickly started using mid-band frequencies separated by regulators and returned to Davidson: “It’s burning,” he said. “Everyone is embracing it as if there is no tomorrow. What it will do is force a much faster acceleration of technology on a completely different scale than we’ve ever seen before. “Enterprise-led personal 5G” is running 95 miles per hour. “Private 5G, led by CSP, is about 20 miles per hour. Like, Davidson thinks.
Here’s another corner, covered at length at the huge Hanover Mess Art Fair, a show we’ve covered over the last six years on these pages so we can try to understand how all of this happens and comes to life. From our executive editor Kelly’s reporting, another angle is this: Is private LTE enough, at least for now?
Jagdish Dantuluri, GM of Kissite Technologies Pvt. Deploying private 5G takes time, effort and money, while most companies already have the combination of Wi-Fi and wired connection that works. “All those systems won’t go away, even with 5G,” he added. “They will coexist.” And if companies really want to get into cellular, well, 4G is much more mature and less expensive.
To those challenges, Dantuluri adds: lack of industry-grade 5G chipsets and devices, lack of cellular system familiarity / expertise in the enterprise IT sector, and lack of spectrum resources, depending on the region and / or company. He added that a number of practical questions remain unanswered: for example, guaranteeing potentially stringent service-level agreements that promise to provide private networks: an operator, perhaps কিন্তু but if not Germany, there is no need for an operator without initiatives because Is there a dedicated spectrum allocation? Then whether it would be a equipment provider, or a managed service provider as Davidson saw as a possible outcome. More coverage from Hanover Mess Here, HereAnd Here.
So what does it all mean for operators? “I think every carrier needs to figure out how to reduce their operating costs,” Mir said. “Price pressures are not going away. Getting a handle on operating costs is crucial. We must do everything in our power to create technology that will reduce their long-term operating costs. ”
And what does it all mean, say, Cisco? Okay, given that the company supports operators and enterprises, and has partnered with SI to acquire regional private 5G, and operators that are moving to more software-driven and programmable IT-type networks, and enterprises that are embracing cellular but That would complement Wi-Fi and the existing IT workflow, which would be a good time to be Cisco.
“I think we have an important role to play,” said Jonathan Davidson, Cisco’s executive vice president and general manager of Mass-Scale Infrastructure Group. “One, because we are loyal partners in many initiatives worldwide. Second, we are the number one Wi-Fi vendor in the world. And three, I think we’re really good at helping system integrators and [service providers]”