5G Open Innovation Lab: update & progress report

The 5G Open Innovation (OI) Lab is a collaborative, development-focused ecosystem approach unlike traditional models, bringing together visionary startups, industry leaders, technical experts, and investors to break down silos that hamper innovation and build what’s next.

Intel was the 5G OI Lab’s first signed partner, followed by T-Mobile US.  The list now includes 17 partners from AT&T, Comcast (who replaced T-Mobile US as founding partners), Accenture, Nokia, Microsoft, Dell Technologies, Palo Alto Networks, Spirent Communications and more.

Jim Brisimitzis – Founder & General Partner, 5G OI Lab:

“The opportunity for developers to impact the potential of edge and 5G is fundamentally bigger than connectivity. To realize this potential, we need a bold approach to experimenting, learning, and unleashing the transformational impact software is capable of. People like to refer to us as a startup accelerator, because on the surface it looks like that. But we’re really not.”  He prefers the moniker “innovation broker.”

The lab team scouts for intriguing new technologies in enterprise, networking, applications, big data, AI, security and so on that present intriguing technology with market potential, and participating classes are selected by the lab’s partners (including CSPs), based on their priorities.

5G OI Lab now includes more than 118 multi-stage enterprise startups who have collectively raised more than $2 billion in venture capital. A few of the success stories:

  • Private network software specialist Expeto, which worked with Dell, Rogers and Ericsson on a private 5G network that operates in a Canadian gold mine.
  • Network observability start-up MantisNet partnered with Palo Alto Networks on a joint effort to work around quirks of how mobile networks are architected in order to identify mobile devices and implement security policies.
  • Canadian start-up DarwinAI, recently acquired by Apple is moving ahead with a generative AI initiative later this year.

5G OI Lab has built 5G private networks that are used as testbeds for use cases that could serve particular industries well. The most recently announced is at the Tacoma Tideflats port area, and it supports five enterprise with use cases ranging from worker safety and worker communications such as push-to-talk capabilities to streaming surveillance video, to better supply chain visibility through faster data offloading via ship-to-shore connectivity; companies involved include Comcast, Dell Technologies, VMware by Broadcom, Intel, Expeto, Ericsson and others.

Brisimitzis comments: “What we have seen is that these internally run accelerators or labs—no offense to anyone—they end up being internal navel-gazing, because they are just about that company, and therefore the conversation is just about that company,” he explains. “Well, as large as Microsoft is, or Amazon, or AT&T, they’re part of a bigger ecosystem. And enterprises don’t buy from just one company, they buy from ecosystems.”

5G OI Lab endeavors to be part of an ecosystem that works together to bring new solutions from the lab to the field to the market.

Author’s Note:

The IEEE 5G/6G Innovation Testbed is a cloud-based, end-to-end 5G network emulator that enables testing and experimentation of 5G products and services. Secure, easily-accessible and “always on,” this platform brings 5G network testing and development to your fingertips and paves the way for speedier and smoother real world deployments.



5G Open Innovation Lab: Relationships, resources and the road to innovation

Another 5G Open Innovation Lab: AT&T, Comcast, Nokia, Intel, Microsoft, Dell assist 118 startups in search of 5G Killer Apps

IBM: 5G use cases that are transforming the world (really ?)