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Dell’s take: The Journey to 5G

During the recent Dell Technologies World 2018 in Las Vegas, Dell Inc. CTO, Liam Quinn, had shared his thoughts about 5G. Here is a transcript of his presentation.

“I see it as evolutionary rather than revolutionary … we are in 2018 now where you will see trials of 5G in some areas in US, Europe and especially in Asia but they are still in trials. I don’t expect any mass commercialisation of 5G until 2020 at the earliest.

Now if you look at the recent Winter Olympics, there were a lot of 5G trials conducted where there were some aspects of 5G-ish speed  and the same for the upcoming World Cup, you will see more kind of 5Gi-ish network activity where people can see the games in real time and listen to it. Imagine that there are 100,000 people in the stadium with 120 different languages being streamed simultaneously or all replayed simultaneously. 5G will be able to support that kind of huge capacity for fast data.

But can you do that all over the country? Probably not. You would find pockets of trials and they like to test that at stadium environments where the large numbers of mobile devices and appetite for content consumption provide the right ingredients.

Vehicles that receive GPS data and other instructions that help them navigate the road, like software updates, traffic alerts and other real-time data like car-to-car communication realistically can only operate with 5G connectivity.

5G speed will be at least 10x faster than and its latency, only 1/5th that of 4G. So the days where cars become truly autonomous – that take years to come. For a start, it’s going to take awhile to get rid of all existing legacy cars anyway. Now if everything is smart, with wireless sensors on all roads, buildings, traffic lights, etc. then it’s going be fine.

Like a train shuttle in an airport, if things go in a very predictable fashion and all cities are built like that, it’d be fine. But the reality today is that ‘autonomous’ cars still require the presence of drivers.

The telcos leading in the 5G race are Huawei of China, Samsung in Korea while in North America, I would say ATT and Verizon. The Dell family is doing a lot of trials with AT&T, Verizon and also Vodafone in UK – we are supporting their infrastructure from end-to-end in this 5G journey.”

(This journalist is a guest of Dell’s to Dell Technologies World 2018)




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