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Interview with Verizon on 5G (PODCAST)

In episode 3 of Tech Lightning Rounds, Beth Kindig goes directly to the source of 5G expertise and hosts discussions with technologists who specialize in the field. Interviews are held in “lightning round” format, which are rapid interviews with tech experts for immediate depth on each topic.

This month, Verizon launched 5G in select cities ahead of schedule. Customers in Chicago and Minneapolis were the first in the world to get 5G-enabled smartphones connected to a 5G network on April 3rd.

In episode 3 of Tech Lightning Rounds, Lani Ingram, Vice President of Smart Cities at Verizon, discusses how far 5G has come through the various iterations over the last 12 years. She discusses in detail how 5G will enable new technologies, such as helping self-driving cars brake quickly, hospital equipment will communicate faster for more successful outcomes, first responders will know exact GPS locations rather than requiring 911 operators to dispatch, and many other applications that are hard to fathom today.

According to Ingram, the real progress will be made when a city wants to move a metric, or meet a goal, such as reducing traffic congestion by 50 percent in 10 years or reduce the amount of energy usage by 30 percent in the next 18 months. This will be made possible by IoT sensors (internet of things) which will monitor air quality, energy use, and traffic patterns. With this data, new technology will create solutions for smart parking, crowd management, and emergency response. Wireless connectivity will be essential for IoT devices to be installed and to communicate quickly.

Don’t miss this candid interview with Verizon on 5G that could not be timelier.

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Verizon shares have traded sideways for most of the year with a 52-week high of $61.58 and a 52-week low of $46.08. Current stock price is at $58.71. Critics point towards a lack of 5G devices on the market to capitalize on the 5G networks that are rolling out. For instance, VentureBeat puts the total cost for 5G at $2.7 trillion through the end of 2020. The GSMA has even lower numbers, stating only 15 percent of all mobile connections will be on 5G by 2025. With that said, the United States and Europe are likely to have a higher saturation of 5G.

When I was at MWC Barcelona this year, the capex bill for 5G was discussed as one of the biggest capex undertakings the tech industry has ever faced. The GSMA trade group, a trade body that counts over 800 telecom and mobile corporate companies as members, stated that carriers will be spending $160 billion on an annual basis to roll out 5G networks. In addition to network costs, trillions will be required to install the infrastructure needed for the content, applications and emerging tech that will rely on the 5G networks (i.e. smart cities, autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, etc). In fact, there was a panel where Mike Fries, the CEO of Liberty Global, pointed out that carriers in Europe have not recouped costs on 4G yet. “You’ve had 10 straight years of declining mobile revenues in Europe with the biggest issue being price,’ he said. You can read more about Mobile World Congress in Barcelona here.

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Beth KindigI’m an industry insider who writes free in-depth analysis on public tech companies. In the last 12 months, I predicted Facebook’s Q2 crash, Roku’s meteoric rise, Uber’s IPO flop, Zoom’s IPO success, Google’s revenue miss and more. Be industry-specific. Know more than the broader markets. Sign up now. I look forward to staying connected.

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