This holiday season and the heightened economy has given rise to purchasing and this holiday season saw a spike in spending overall. According to recent tracking, "Retailers have much to cheer about this holiday season. According to Mastercard SpendingPulseTM, holiday retail sales increased 3.4 percent (ex auto) with online sales growing 18.8 percent compared to 2018." Online purchasing of electronic devices have also seen promising results including Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and overall Christmas shopping. Consumers are spending and this provided opportunities for those selling smartphones, tablets, and computing devices.
Compass Intelligence recently completed a survey with over four-thousand wireless end-users (4,351) and dove into a number of topics including planned purchases, perceptions of 5G, current ownership of devices, payment structures, and other related wireless services including insurance, prepaid, and leasing. This survey highlight included a snapshot of plans to purchase for smartphones, tablets, and computing devices. As shown, below is a roundup of purchasing plans for the next 3 to 4 months:
Note: Online survey conducted in late November 2019 with 4,351 (18 and older) wireless end-users in the United States.
There are two notable driving forces expected to bring significant change to the tech industry. First, we are at the emergence of 5G realization as networks are being upgraded and new devices enter into the market. Secondly, edge computing is taking over the past discussions of the cloud as the answer to bring analytics and insights in a real-time and automated manner. Let's skip the mechanics and deep tech discussion. Below are some basic thoughts around these two areas and why they are important to the future of work, smart cities, consumer entertainment, and much more.
View the related 5G in Business Infographic below, podcast coming soon! CLICK TO DOWNLOAD NOW
The Basics of 5G
As 5G networks are being launched in select cities, the industry is embracing new changes compared to 4G/LTE speeds. 5G brings the dawn of a new era where we connect machines, objects, people, cars, and more. The 5G infrastructure market brings new opportunities and potential applications that we have yet to unveil, and the industry is bracing for speeds that bring mass IoT to fruition, low latency critical communications that is ultra-reliable, and enhanced mobile broadband. Fixed wireless also becomes more of a reality across the nation, as 5G brings speeds that are expected to directly compete with cable and other high-speed Internet services.
At this stage we are at the cusp of exploring new use cases, hard-hitting applications, and new device roll-out (smartphones launching middle of 2019 and some hotspot devices). Even more important is what this means to businesses, consumers, and even government customers. Businesses are expected to leverage 5G for industrial and supply chain automation, connected vehicle enhancements, massive 5G IoT enabled sensor networks and systems, and much more. Consumers will experience new entertainment experiences on their phones, cars, and in the home that bring speeds we have yet to experience, and content that bring new levels of entertainment. Governments will leverage 5G for critical communications, smart city applications, and new city services. The opportunities are endless and the market is prime to engage, learn, and explore what 5G brings to the world.
The Basics of The Edge
Edge computing is an explosive topic for the tech industry, as we push intelligence to network end-points and devices as opposed to pushing data to the core/centralized cloud or to a remote server/datacenter. Chipset technologies have advanced where data analytics and decisions are being made at the equipment or device for critical decision making, business process improvement, and important action enablement. Edge computing combined with Internet of Things, brings simplification and new possibilities for immediate and real-time decision making for things like fleet management, asset tracking, supply chain management, advance manufacturing, building management, and improvements to smart cities.
Additional technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning solutions elevate automatic decision-making and are further executed to bring automation to new levels for businesses and government. Edge computing coupled with the convergence of AI and IoT (AIoT) will lead to “thinking” networks and systems that are becoming increasingly more capable of solving a wide range of problems across a diverse number of industry verticals. Additional benefits anticipated include creation of new customer experiences and improved consumer applications such as within the entertainment industry.
5G Research Reports
Edge Computing Research Reports
A few weeks ago, I had the honor to attend the annual Xfinity Analyst Day event in Philadelphia located at both the Four Seasons Philadelphia hotel and the Comcast Technology Center. Thank you to Joel Shadle and team for inviting me and for the insanely wonderful hospitality. As we think about consumer needs and wants, the instant economy demands innovative customer experiences that cater to individual and contextual personalizations, and this is exactly what Comcast is doing with a suite of solutions, products, and services around broadband, WiFi access, Mobile services, and Content. I will share a few highlights of the day's activities below.
Dana Strong, President Xfinity Consumer Services, kicked off the event and shared a great summary of the Comcast/Xfinity innovation journey. Xfinity's primary focus is to push for differentiation around product innovation. It was clear throughout the event that Comcast is fully focused on positioning Xfinity Internet as its primary product; and counts around 26 million residential customers for the service as of Q219, compared to 22 million video customers and 1.4 million Xfinity Home customers. The trio of innovation areas include speed, coverage and control for broadband. Upcoming and new solutions include bringing Hulu to X1 customers in the first quarter of 2020, along with innovation around WiFi with Xfinity xFi Pods WiFi Extenders and a home suite that is fully integrated and searchable by voice with options for adding home security (#smarthome 1.4M home security customers), and innovation around the X1 cloud DVR and remote services. X1 is a platform of platforms with companies such as Cox, Shaw, Rogers all using it as the foundation for their video products.
In addition for homes today, it is all about speed as we are consuming more streaming video than ever. In fact Dana mentioned Xfinity customers used 6 billion video on demand hours along with 9 Billion voice commands in 2018 alone. Innovation is also an area being explored within Xfinity Mobile, where the company serves 1.6 Million mobile lines and is currently expanding LTE with their partnership with Verizon. Family Gig packs (Unlimited and By the Gig packs) or bundles allow payment plans and options to add in home monitoring for existing broadband customers. It is important to understand that only Xfinity Internet customer can get Xfinity Mobile services.
A great amount of innovation is centralized around the entire entertainment experience, which requires robust broadband and tools that can be leveraged with voice automation and an open system with access to services such as Netflix, Xumo, Pluto, Amazon Music, iHeartMusic, Amazon Prime video, YouTube, and again Hulu coming in Q1. Customers can use voice search across the entire ecosystem, not just linear tv, while search results default to free/complimentary and displays where you left off and recommends based on your history.
This innovation around entertainment does not happen without a sound high-speed broadband experience. Tony Werner, President of Technology & Product at Comcast Cable, shared additional innovation details around its broadband and WiFi solutions. With 17 different speed upgrades over the course of 18 years and a strong portfolio of patents with 400 currently pending and 20 million WiFi hotspots, the company is well positioned to leverage these assets to a strong base of residential customers and drive business to the B2B market moving up market from a strong SMB base. A great stat was shared...there are currently 58M homes today that have access to 1Gbps broadband by Comcast today.
Other innovation details shared by Patti Loyack (VP of IP Services) and Rui Costa (VP of Product, Design and CX) include some of the following:
Lastly, I will wrap up by sharing more around innovation specific to customer experience (cX). Charlie Herrin, Chief Customer Experience Officer for Comcast Cable, shared additional details around making the customer experience their best product. He shared four main components to personalized automation (Xfinity Assistant) including IDENTITY, INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION, PROACTIVE 2-WAY DIALOG, and CLOSING THE LOOP. Both self-care and administration are areas where Mr. Herrin is building out services and solutions.
Some highlights include:
These short-list (many others taking place) of improvements have brought about tens of thousands of predictive recommendations produced via IVR for better servicing customers and reduction of calls into the call center, along with billions data elements captured daily. Many customer issues have been contained in the Xfinity Assistant, which has reduced agent handled chats substantially. This customer-first and simplicity approach is sure to enhance the overall customer experience and drive retention for residential clients.
This summary does not include all the interactions and sessions attended, but provides a great review of things to come and the innovation in process and coming down the pipeline. It was clear throughout the event that Comcast is fully focused on positioning Xfinity Internet as its primary product; and counts around 26 million residential customers for the service as of Q219, compared to 22 million video customers and 1.4 million Xfinity Home customers. As part of this analyst day, we were also treated to product demos, Comcast Technology Center Tour, the Universal Sphere experience, and a great networking reception and dinner with showcase labs and interactions with executives. Thank you again to Comcast and the Xfinity team of executives and team who prepared and put this event together. I look forward to witnessing continued innovation and enhancements across the Xfinity portfolio.
Written by: Stephanie Atkinson, CEO of Compass Intelligence
It's back to school and that means businesses are planning for 2020 and thinking about what's next and the important tech indicators for their business or organization. Compass Intelligence has kept a close eye throughout 2019 to stay on the pulse on key B2B trends, including tech leader focus areas and what is keeping CIOs up at night.
In a nutshell, here are some highlights:
Securing the Perimeter
Security remains a top concern for CIOs and other tech leaders, as there are ZERO businesses or governments fully secure. The most trusted companies and industries in the world have experienced major breaches over the past year including the likes of Equifax, Capital One, First American Corporation, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, and even the U.S. Postal Service. As we connect more "things" to the network and even sensor systems that may even be connected over WLAN or WiFi open the business or government entity up for vulnerabilities and increased risk for hacking, business disruption, and personal data breaches. The challenges are the various areas of attack and variety of IT and network security, as well as IoT security vendors and products/services, that are available. The challenge for companies and government is many times this priority in investment in security (cyber, network, IoT, systems, etc.) sometimes pushes innovation out the door, as funds are tied up in maintaining and disaster preparedness as opposed to automation and advanced technologies. Preparing and understanding risk is an important first step.
As corporations and big government (across all sizes of business or org) lean more on software and applications, DevOps becomes a critical area of priority. As such, IT leaders and CIOs continue to evaluate and adopt low code and no code solutions to customize, adapt, and integrate back office and client-facing applications. This includes everything from cloud management to logistics management to traditional IT systems management. Businesses are turning to low code solutions in an effort to more quickly act and respond to internal and customer-first issues, and that includes from initial design to full deployment. No code may include simple GUI interfaces for drag and drop, click and add or modify, and other tools to quickly develop...helping IT organizations better serve their companies or organizations. Vendors such as Appian, Salesforce, and Microsoft are just a few companies offering low code to no code developer services.
Managing Data to Benefit the Business
Before we even begin to do BIG things with the data we are collecting and storing, we must first implement a data governance strategy and maintain an overall policy for securing and protecting precious client and proprietary corporate or government data. This means we need to inventory and make decisions on the data we are storing/collecting, understand why it is important, set priorities and align with overall business strategy, and make decisions on insights and intelligence needed for business operations or client/service efficiencies and improvements. We find many companies are collecting and storing data in the cloud but are doing very little with the data. There has to be a real business reason to manage data whether that be compliance, legal, customer service, operations, logistics, etc. Data governance centers around access, priority and use, intelligence and protection, while policy sets the stage for responsible parties, responsible vendors/applications, priority of service, quality, and overall rules and ways the data will be managed.
To learn more and get access to recent ICT and workforce research, please visit recent research and reports by Compass Intelligence.
In late June, a group of analysts (including myself) and consultants attended the annual Sprint Business Analyst Day in New York. This event provides an update on the business group including business wireless products and services, wireline (yes they are still operating in this space!) services, and of course IoT solutions. The theme this year was focused on how Sprint Business connects people, places, and things or branded as #worksforbusiness. We kicked off the event the first evening at The Knickerbocker Hotel with a reception to meet, greet, enjoy roof-top beverages and food. Jan Geldmacher (@JanGeld), Sprint Business President, kicked off the evening with a few words on expectations the next day, and a highlight of the sessions and content. The evening was enjoyable meeting up with old colleagues, fellow analysts, good friends, and catching up with Sprint executives.
The next morning was held at Sprint's NY offices with a slightly wet commute a few blocks away as the rain helped wake up our day. Mr. Geldmacher again kicked off our morning sharing again the highlights of the day and thoughts on 5G network progress, merger expectations, IoT solutions, and more. Jan stressed his high expectations of winning merger approval, along with the challenges of attorney generals suing yet sharing of the job growth that the merger will bring. Sprint Business reached 17% year over year growth in gross adds, with net adds up 34% y-o-y despite experiencing higher churn compared to competitors. Geldmacher mentioned focus areas and goals including increased contribution from Sprint Business with improved convergence of organization for selling across portfolio, stating the organization will continue the "Sprint Way of Selling" (i.e. solution selling focus, & automation/digitization of operations). Geldmacher shared they are working government and local companies including Peachtree Corners, GA and Greenville, SC on 5G and/or IoT use cases including Autonomous Vehicles.
Next up, we heard from Dr. John Saw, CTO of Sprint (@SprintCTO), who shared their mobile 5G progress. Sprint continued to roll out 5G in several cities using massive MIMO antenna systems (assets include 2.5 GHz spectrum assets) noting in Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Kansas City (4 cities currently, with 5 cities coming online soon) there are over 1000 sq miles already covered with 5G. Meanwhile AT&T and Verizon are leaning on mmWave a 5G coverage approach. The primary differentiator is the ability to serve Advanced LTE and 5G customers simultaneously on a single existing antenna in split mode. Sprint essentially has an advantage on leaning towards its heavy spectrum assets to provide 5G network leadership, which will in turn be better for businesses and government. Outside of mass IoT and business use cases, 5G also brings consumer use cases noted Saw...sharing mobile gaming use case leveraging 5G and Hatch (spinoff from Rovio) edge computing centers and Sprint infrastructure. (See related article: https://www.section.io/blog/edge-computing-gaming-benefits/)
Ivo Rook, Sprint Business SVP of IoT and Product Development, provided an update on overall Sprint Business activities, IoT, and Sprint Curiosity (TM)...OS, Platform, and Core), and placing Sprint outside of being just a wireless operator but focused on software and AI. Rook shared more on bringing data to the edge, going global, a focus on talent/training, deal pipeline growth, nationwide Cat M, and #smartcities partners including AWS @awscloud, Mapbox @Mapbox, Spireon @Spireon, Nauto, Arm @Arm, and Dynamics @dynamicsinc (recently signed). Sprint closed smarty city deals with Peachtree GA, Phoenix, AZ, Detroit MI, Greenville, SC, and Sacramento, CA.
Rook also noted growth in SMB customers, up 24%, transitioning clients off CDMA. 5G was also a source of discussion, especially as it relates to autonomous vehicles (AV), where 5G can increase accuracy from 9 feet to 1 inch stated Ivo. Ivo shared 4 primary focus areas along with 5G emphasis including communication, security using #AI, engagement between colleagues, and client communications to enable business. Additional 5G use cases may include mobile wireless access points, #enterprise wireless backup, and #SMB collaboration.
The software and AI discussion continued as #AI application=reduce production costs stated Rook. #ArtificialIntelligence is expected to balance accuracy/speed providing relative #context to intelligence. New AI products announced include #Sprint Secure AI, Sprint Secure Mobile AI, and Sprint Smart Messaging all with a focus on reducing human intervention with #flatfee incentives and #endpointsecurity. Sprint Smart Messaging is helping #restaurants recapture lost reservations and field missed calls (great restaurant use case).
Kim Green-Kerr, SVP of Sprint Business, was also a speaker and shared live client examples of new #Sprint #AI products and solutions, with a highlight of service industry use case. She shared 60% of service industry experiences missed calls result in lost business to other companies or vendors (hair salons, restaurants) and Kim stated Sprint can help recapture #lostrevenue #lostcalls #lostbusiness using #AI #artificialintelligence (Sprint Smart Messaging). While sharing customer examples, Kim (@KimGreenKerr) introduced client Ron of @NationwideComm1 NCL Networks to share his experience working with Sprint Business. Ron mentioned NCL Networks maintains the largest base of Business Placement Outsourcing #BPO clients and nearshore and offshore customers in #singapore #philippines #manila #cebu sharing successes #3nodes.
Kim wrapped up by sharing a demo on Sprint Solutions Customization Tool which supports in helping those browsing #IoT solutions to a #guidedsell approach. This easy approach to find solutions, enables a no rep sale with #IoTFactory and can run full decision and close deal online #CuriosityMarketplace.
Partners include Spireon, Mapbox (Using Live mapping with @Mapbox @ericg and Curiosity(TM) platform, designed for people and things, rich data sets, near real-time intelligent data), among others...Sprint is also working with @Accenture Innovation Centers, running #Curiosity #IoT. Curiosity and Sprint's IoT Factory (launched in May 2018) continues to experience progress, noting after the launch of the #IoT Factory the focus is to (1) Engage with Developer community (2) Gather and learn from Insights in how customers think with IoT (3) Produce IoT Leads. IoT factory currently has 26 solutions added on Factory 2.0 with 368 activations in FY19, also sharing 42 new customers (added in Q1), 127% sales growth (QoQ).
#SprintCuriosity is live in #SanJose and #Ashburn with data collection nodes in 10 cities now, rolling out on weekly basis. The goal is to get data to the core (#SDN) as quickly as possible (19 Intelligent production nodes (Uber and Accenture)). #closetocustomers #sensordata #mL #AI Sprint is launching #Curiosity Labs, a public-private partnership (#3Ps #PPP) with Peachtree Corners @PCCityYes working with city Manager, Brian Johnson (#connected #smartcity #V2X #autonmous #500acres #smartcityexpo) and the expected date launch is set for Sept 9th...more can be found here vimeo.com/336207235 .
As for what's next, Sprint also continues to focus on international expansion. Sprint shared both casual and permanent roaming in 152 countries and has deployed EYCC centralized solution with continued work on roll-out and deals in 135 countries enabling local profiles activated OTA partnering with @ericsson and @TelnaGlobal.
Final thoughts on connecting PEOPLE, PLACES, and THINGS...
#IoT #IIoT #SDN #5G #certification #massIoT #IoTactivation #missioncriticalIoT #IoTSLAs
IWCE and the PSTA Collaborate to Support Worldwide Open Public Safety Technology Standards
International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) (iwceexpo.com) is collaborating with the Public Safety Technology Alliance (PSTA) to support open technology public safety standards and open APIs for the critical communications industry worldwide. IWCE takes place March 4-8, 2019 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
IWCE is the premier annual event for communications technology professionals. Targeted to government, public safety, transportation, utilities and enterprises, IWCE offers a Conference Program with five-days of learning and an Exhibit Hall with 400+ exhibitors showcasing the latest products and trends in the communications technology industry. The event also offers networking opportunities to build industry relationships.
PSTA’s mission as a non-profit organization is to bring public safety and industry together to support and promote the adoption of open, best-in-class technology standards and open APIs for the public safety user community.
At IWCE, PSTA will be located in the Exhibit Hall in booth #MCT75 showcasing its technical subcommittees’ progress and the benefits for both industry and public safety of joining PSTA.
TJ Kennedy, CEO of the PSTA, will present at the Town Hall meeting “Help is on the Way Roundtable: Public Safety Think Tank,” and Maggie Goodrich, Chair of the PSTA Board of Directors, will present at the General Session. PSTA will also host its quarterly board meeting at the conference.
“By partnering with PSTA we will be able to reach a wider audience of public safety professionals to ensure that they have the vital knowledge and latest safety technologies necessary for them to succeed in the critical communications industry,” said Stacey Orlick, IWCE’s Director of Community and Conference Content. “We look forward to working closely with PSTA at IWCE.”
Kennedy said, “We’re very excited to be working closely with IWCE to share our mission and progress on key technical issues with event attendees. As our industry continues its dynamic transformation, we are proud to support global open technology standards and open APIs to improve interoperability for public safety.”
To register to attend IWCE, click here.
Compass Intelligence is a proud media partner of #IWCE2019!
Last month, I attended the Dell Analyst Summit in Chicago held at the Marriott Marquis. Dell is hyper focused on unlocking the power of intelligent data while embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT). Historically, Dell was well known for their computing devices (laptops and computers), servers, storage, gateways, and networking hardware but so much has changed (through acquisition and organizational changes), and all the better as it embraces an overall machine learning and IoT strategy.
Dell Technologies continues to develop into one of the world's foremost technology providers for businesses and enterprise, and it is doing this through not only acquisition but creating synergies across the organization through staffing alignment and portfolio integration. And add to that, it is keeping its eye on the ball on emerging technologies by acquiring and partnering with some of the fastest growing companies, as well as startups who offer differentiated and market disruption.
If you look at the overall synergies of the company including its core companies including Dell EMC (hardware, computing, IoT enablement), VMware (Device & IoT Management & Security), RSA (Network & IoT Security), Pivotal (Enterprise Application Enablement, Software, & Services), and Virtustream (Cloud), you begin to see the landscape of an overall IT company that offers various facets including services, applications, security, hardware, and platforms to address business' connected solutions needs. To be successful in IoT, you must have internal assets around all of these facets or partner with the top companies that resonate or already have deep relationships in the enterprise IT/tech world. Now to be clear, Dell Technologies communicates that they are not a one-stop shop and will continue to develop key partnerships to better its position to be the world class leader for the enterprise (small and large). The EdgeX Foundry is just an example of its commitment to developing partnerships, specifically embracing open and interoperable use cases and solutions.
Even more exciting is their commitment to IoT (Big props to Sarah, Wolffie, Joyce, Jason, Neal, Mimi, Brinda, and Ethan) as this year (at VMworld) they announced their first IoT bundles made available starting back in September leveraging their portfolio of subsidiaries, and they continue to add more bundles this year. IoT bundles include solutions for retail compliance, data center infrastructure, smart building monitoring, cold chain management, outdoor security, digital oilfield tech, industrial automation, and more. Dell's IoT team is leading by focusing on outcomes, where it is supporting businesses and government organizations by focusing on producing results or solving problems as opposed to tech-centric issue solving. They also have a catalog of use cases they continue to use to further build their knowledge base. As they move down market to smaller businesses, Dell expects to further lean on partners giving even the smallest customers access to innovation.
As the momentum for Dell continues with their IoT bundles (more bundles will be announced in Q4), they will continue to partner and integrate with other IoT platforms (as customers may already have preferences), and will support customers using the PULSE management system. Some early sectors to benefit from the IoT bundles include energy, retail, manufacturing, and transportation.
I will leave you with a few key notes gathered across the sessions and presented by Michael Dell and other execs:
Lastly, I must thank the Dell IoT team for a wonderful dinner at the RPM Italian restaurant, wonderful discussion, food and vino!
Written by Stephanie Atkinson, CEO of Compass Intelligence and Chair of IoT6
In case you didn't know, BlackBerry is not only ramping up its portfolio around IoT security services and solutions, but they are also in the asset/fleet/cargo tracking market. Based on telematics research available on compassintel.com, total global asset tracking market will reach $27.1B by 2023, growing at 14.8% compound annual growth rate, with North America holding a strong 37% of the market share. When you add fleet tracking and cold chain tracking to this, it become an even larger market opportunity.
"The BlackBerry® Radar family of products is an all-encompassing asset tracking solution that gives fleet assets such as trailers, vans, containers, flatbeds, chassis and equipment the intelligence to securely communicate in near real-time."
Blackberry introduced BlackBerry® Radar (two versions including Radar-M and Radar-L) in 2016, and has really struggled to get to the market growth it needs to compete with the likes of Verizon Connect, Omnitracs (Qualcomm subsidiary), and others. This is a highly saturated market with 100s of companies competing just in the U.S. alone. The devices offer both an AT&T SIM and Orange SIM for connectivity, and customers can choose to pay all up front through a capital investment or pay a smaller up-front fee for the equipment and monthly recurring fee (MRC) for the services. There is also a lease option available for customers who prefer not to "own" the equipment. The primary telematics focus for BlackBerry is non-powered assets including cargo, low and high value shipping assets, and even cold chain assets. In an article in FleetOwner magazine BlackBerry SVP and General Manager Phillip Poulidis stated, "Radar customers are improving fleet efficiency on average between 7% and 10%." BlackBerry also stated a goal of reaching $100 million in revenue over the next three years from the telematics product.
A few additional notes...
All in all, BlackBerry will need to continue to push branding awareness in a very competitive marketplace, which may be challenging as it is not very well-known compared to the larger market players. The real opportunity would be for BlackBerry to set up a reseller/partnership ecosystem to push BlackBerry Radar (branded or white-labeled) to the masses, and this would mean partnering with other IoT telematics companies and wireless carriers, as well as non-traditional technology companies.
Get this research! Asset Tracking Market by Technology, Connection Type, Mobility, Location Determination, and Industry Verticals 2018 – 2023
By Stephanie Atkinson, CEO CompassIntel/Chair IoT6
www.5gamericas.org | @5GAmericas
Last week was the annual 5G Americas annual Analyst Forum held in Dallas, Texas. The event was kicked off by the Chairman and CTO of T-Mobile US, Neville Ray (@NevilleRay). Just a few highlights to start off with regarding Neville's keynote, which clearly showcased the global and nationwide competitive angle 5G is being championed for and towards (also heard at MWCA in LA).
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND 5G
One of the first sessions I sat in on was focused around the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to 5G and future growth in IoT. Ericsson is utilizing AI tools and software to improve their radio access network (RAN) specific to configuration and optimization, while Samsung mentioned heavily investing (see Softbank news on AI investments) in AI at the cloud level to support in new customer experiences (cX) and improve video content services (noted example of having video content follow users). Cisco's perspective was a bit different as they are looking at AI to support in new learning algorithms (inference and information theory) around operations, as well as using AI tools and software for social impact initiatives. Lastly, Sprint mentioned leveraging AI to improve data quality, enhance machine learning tools, generating automatic code, and simplifying for categorization (think automated text categorization, read more here). Sprint also mentioned there may be a challenge with the human input and training is an issue.
5G AND ENTERPRISE IoT
On the low band, 5G is expected to support in scaling massive IoT, specific to low latency connected and sensor solutions, specific to industrial, infrastructure, operations, and even smart cities. The use cases revolve around asset tracking and monitoring, fleet tracking and monitoring, some transportation and container tracking, and applications specific to agriculture, factory automation/manufacturing (mass production), and others.
Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) has been a focus for companies like AT&T, as they made announcements this year. As shown earlier, the carriers all have different approaches to device roll-out, yet 5G smartphones is not expected until mid-2019. On another note, there are some upcoming changes to 5G devices and antenna placement. Devices may have 3 to 4 mmWave antennas as part of 5G enhancements, and this will help to manage hand cover up issues from a user experience perspective. Qualcomm mentioned that some devices still have 2G, and that the OEMs they work with are choosing what bands to include in the devices. The 3G to 4G shift was more concentrated around power management, while that will not be as much of an issue for the shift from 4G to 5G. New RF modules will be an area of focus for 5G devices. This session had participants from Qualcomm, Samsung, and Sprint.
5G, MORE USE CASES
Focusing beyond MBB, the industry participants mentioned we need to look above and beyond broadband and smartphone devices. Sprint is focused around the mid-band, so 5G smartphones is key to their 5G strategy. Sprint is currently looking at the partnership model for 5G use cases. The foundational use cases are centered around mobility and fixed wireless. Many are in the exploratory stage from an ecosystem perspective and are seeking support from partners, research analysts, advisors, and customers. Carriers will be seeking use cases to better monetize traffic, as current smartphone revenues and the growth trajectory remains fairly stable or flat. Consumer is behind overall, and Enterprise is leading in 5G use cases at this time. Smart cities is an area to explore as well, and CityBrain (by Alibaba) was mentioned as a good use case to explore in terms of true ROI.
MY TWO CENTS
Related 5G Research and Reports:
5G Optimization: Mobile Edge Computing and Network Slicing 2018 – 2023
Voice over 5G (Vo5G) Market
5G Security Market: Technologies, Solutions, and Market Outlook 2018 - 2023
Written by Blog Contributor: Lucy Reed of gigmine.co
Chances are that you know someone who struggles with mental health disorders. It’s possible that someone is you. Your workplace can play a major role in your well-being, so if your wellness is challenged by your working conditions, there is good news. The gig economy offers opportunities for improving your quality of life while still earning a living.
Stresses and struggles. Even if you don’t start out with a mental health disorder, the stress and anxiety of some workplaces can bring one on. According to The Conversation, many workers must deal with excessive workloads, requirements to be more productive with fewer resources, poor managerial practices, conflicts with coworkers, and little choice in what they do and when. Issues such as these can be detrimental to your mental health. Mental health issues are costing employers as well, with some estimates as high as $100 billion annually in mental health-related expenses.
Improve your situation. If those stressors sound all too familiar, engaging in the gig economy can be a boon to your well-being. Flexibility can be the biggest determining factor in improving mental health for workers, with some research showing productivity just as high for those embracing flexible employment options as for traditional workers. However, thanks to flex options such as telecommuting, workers report better health and happiness. The gig economy offers opportunities galore. Being able to adjust your schedule and workload to meet your other commitments in life can mean better satisfaction. Some studies show flexible employment options reduce stress and even make for better sleep habits. What’s more, you have the freedom and flexibility to match your schedule and workload with your energy levels. If you’re a morning person, you can get up and knock out duties at the crack of dawn. If you do best when you’re alone through certain days of the week, take on the bulk of your work during those times.
So, what is the gig economy? The gig economy refers to what is essentially an internet-based employment platform through which people offering goods or services connect with people needing those goods or services. It’s the chance to be your own boss, set your own schedule, and plan your own future. You can elect to do short-term work, engage a variety of clients, or freelance individual, one-time sessions or products. And as Wired explains, it’s a rapidly-growing arena with a plethora of employment types and venues. You could drive people around, provide bookkeeping services, or sell your handmade crafts. Do you love animals? Some people become dog walkers or offer dog-boarding services. Can you sell ice to an eskimo? Some of the best business ideas right now for master salespeople include selling wireless earphones, HIIT workout equipment, and phone cases. No matter your skills, there’s a gig that can make you money!
Downsides. Of course, it’s not all roses for gig workers. It’s important to understand that with the flexibility and freedom of leaving the traditional workplace, you also lose the benefits of a traditional workplace. There are no sick days or paid days off, and you don’t have an employer setting aside funds to pay your taxes or for your retirement. Those burdens fall to you. Even if bookkeeping isn’t your strength, as Forbes explains, this is all very doable. Track your expenses for a few months and establish a budget showing where your money is going. Aim to live on half of your income, set aside 30 percent toward flexible expenses, and then save the other 20 percent for things like your kids’ college tuition and your own IRA. Monitor your spending carefully to ensure you stay on track, and make sure you’re saving enough to pay your taxes on time.
Stay healthy and happy. Mental health disorders can be challenged by poor working conditions. Thanks to the gig economy, you can embrace a more flexible worklife. If it’s time to raise your quality of life through a healthier work environment, the gig economy offers opportunities for change.
Covering hot topics in the industry, new research, trends, and event coverage.