Dell CTO: Fragmented U.S. 5G deployments; Unified Nationwide 5G Ecosystem Needed

John Roese, Dell Technologies’ chief technology officer (CTO), urges private companies and the public sector to collaborate on creating a unified nationwide 5G ecosystem. He advocates domestic production of equipment, commitment to open radio access network infrastructure and additional tower construction.

U.S. efforts to develop a 5G network have been fragmented, with many regions of our country seeing no 5G deployment at all. This can threaten digital inclusion work in our communities, restrict innovation-based economic development, and put the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage. Broad accessibility is also critical to the high-tech industry contributing to an open 5G ecosystem, which in turn will grow the digital economy.

Telecom companies are already investing significantly in their 5G networks, with $81 billion of spectrum auctioned off in January and billions more expected in another auction slated for October. But as companies commit to major debt-funded purchases of spectrum they may lack the capital and incentives to build the infrastructure needed to ensure inclusivity.

The real solution lies with investment to modernize the core digital infrastructure, devices and services, centered on a modern open architecture for 5G, but the current industry structure is not aligned with this goal, and the existing ecosystem to enable it is limited.

It’s important to recognize that 5G is much more than just an evolution of 4G. Since 5G has new, higher performance technologies in addition to more traditional wireless access, it has the potential to deliver true Gigabit speed low latency mobile access. To accomplish that, a multitude of additional cellular towers along with a sophisticated network of virtual infrastructure is needed. This will generate a 5G network that is readily accessible, especially to the communities that need it the most.

The Dell CTO says that the U.S. risks falling behind other nations that are making large scale investments in their own 5G networks at a brisk pace. We have the resources and talent to catch up and lead the world in 5G, but first the government and the private sector must work collaboratively to create a foundational 5G wireless ecosystem in the U.S.

In summary, Roese states that “connectivity is economic opportunity and the key to a diverse, competitive workforce. We must come together to provide the equal access to technology and advanced connectivity that will ensure all are empowered to lead the country forward.”

Dell and 5G:

In an October 2020 CUBE interview with Dell’s COO and vice chairman Jeff Clarke said:

5G is the next data fabric for the data era. We see the world of edge, cloud and 5G, those three circles, intersecting to a high degree. What we have is the first opportunity to bring a cloud environment to the telco space that hasn’t happened before, and the opportunity is large for us; it’s one of the single biggest opportunities that we see for Dell.”



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One thought on “Dell CTO: Fragmented U.S. 5G deployments; Unified Nationwide 5G Ecosystem Needed

  1. The 5G “Reopening” in the U.S. this Summer:

    “5G could be the ultimate ‘reopening’ theme, as consumers venture out and demand faster cellular broadband coverage and capacity versus last year’s dependence on Wi-Fi,” wrote the financial analysts at BofA Securities in a recent note to investors.

    Verizon – which has been building super-fast 5G in football stadiums, airports and other high-traffic venues that remained mostly vacant during 2020 – agreed.

    “We’ve been waiting” for this moment, explained Verizon’s Ronan Dunne in comments this week at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference.

    He said the company’s new offer of free 5G phones was contingent on three events: a rise in traffic on Verizon’s mobile network, a return by shoppers to Verizon’s retail stores, and the availability of phones that can support the highband and midband flavors of 5G.

    It’s now the “perfect timing” for this kind of a promotion, Dunne said.

    The financial analysts at Cowen described Verizon’s new promotion as “aggressive,” though they said it’s not necessarily an indication that Verizon is falling behind the competition.

    “In our conversation with Verizon, the company noted the offer comes from a position of strength, rather than one of desperation,” the Cowen analysts wrote. “Verizon believes it can enjoy the higher volumes without notable sacrifice to margins.”

    “We’re doing better than some people might tell you,” Dunne agreed.

    Of course, executives from AT&T offer a similar stance.

    “We’re ready for the competitive responses,” AT&T’s Jeff McElfresh said at the same Bernstein-hosted event.

    He said AT&T continues to enjoy success with its own free phone promotions, and that the operator is prepared to continue chasing “accretive, profitable growth.”

    “We intend to be the nation’s premier broadband connectivity provider. Period,” he said. “We are not on our heels. We are back on our toes.”

    The comments and the new promotions from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Comcast generally indicate the operators are preparing to fight for the shoppers who are keen to re-enter retail stores after a year of being stuck at home. And that they’re going to do so with some of the most aggressive promotions the wireless industry has seen in years.

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