Presenting to a sold-out crowd, the New York State Wireless Association’s 2019 Wireless Forum touched on some of the most important topics that face the wireless industry as the next generation of wireless rolls out, June 20-21, at Chelsea Piers in New York.
In addition to the usual networking events and local tours, there was a full plate of sessions around topics such as finance, technology, legal and regulatory. The FCC’s Ajit Pai took the stage at the luncheon keynote to discuss the FCC’s role in advancing 5G. He assured the audience that 5G is a priority for the FCC and making spectrum available for it would be a priority for 2019 and beyond. (See accompanying story)
A couple of tangential highlights were tours of Verizon’s 5G lab and the 911 Memorial and Museum. Verizon’s New York Lab is one of the cutting-edge facilities, working with NYU and The Tandon School of Engineering, chaired by Ted Rappaport, this facility is working on exploring the boundaries of 5G network technology, co-creating new applications and hardware, and rethinking what is possible in a 5G world.
The 911 memorial is always a treasure to visit and it is both inspiring and somber. It is a reminder that we must never stop being on the cutting edge of technology.
New York – One of a Kind
New York is one of those places that bring some of the finest minds and visionaries out into the open. One of them was Russ Esmacher VP of Nokia’s North America IP/Optics Networks. In an engaging presentation, he likened the rise of 5G to that of the development and proliferation of electricity. In a rather poignant message, he noted that as with proliferation of electricity, there were many similarities that can be drawn with 5G – how to proliferate it, how to get it on poles and in the ground and how to manage all of its power.
If one looks at this from such an angle, deploying 5G does have similarities – how to build the infrastructure, how to get it on street furniture and into the mainstream of cellular networks, how to power it, and how to get it everywhere and to everyone – a very challenging mission. Yet most of the world managed to get the job done – to get electricity to the masses. The same will happen with 5G. It is just a matter of time.
However, an interesting statement made by Esmacher was that the time frame for deploying technology, from the first industrial revolution to what we now call the fourth industrial revolution has shrunk from 100-year intervals to about 30 years. So, if we follow that time compression, 5G should be fully deployed in about 15 years – we will see.
In the end, since Esmacher works for the fiber end of Nokia. He put significant emphasis on how fiber will play a pivotal role in both the rate and breadth of how quickly 5G will deploy. However, he has a point. 5G needs a solid, wide, in/out pipe. Moreover, he is not alone. Verizon has an aggressive deployment stance around fiber, as well. Fiber will, surely, be the most enabling data hauling medium for 5G.