People are missing the point about 5G, Synchronoss Technologies CEO Glenn Lurie told Android Headlines, adding that the media “didn’t do a good job” of informing the general public about it and why the next evolution of wireless networks is the most important one in a long while. The former President and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Operations isn’t excited about the improved speeds and ultra-low latencies promised by 5G, at least not compared to how he feels about their far-reaching implications. “The move to 2G, 2.5G, every network upgrade is like that,” said Mr. Lurie, referring to the advancements in throughput performance of wireless infrastructure in the last several decades. The real importance of 5G lies not in its capabilities in a vacuum or the fact that the technology will allow consumers to download movies more quickly or watch Netflix streams at higher resolutions, but in the entirely new product categories the next wireless evolution will bring, according to the industry veteran.
Smart cities, Internet-connected sensors capable of collecting vast amounts of data in harsh weather conditions for a decade on a single battery charge, and other Internet of Things applications are all more exciting propositions for Mr. Lurie who expects 5G to change the very core of many businesses and even create entirely new ones. 5G research and development are also unique compared to the origins of previous wireless technologies as this is the world’s first attempt to deliver a new telecommunications standard starting from potential use cases instead of networks, the executive believes.
The concept of 5G isn’t based on the idea to deliver better network performance but allow for new products and services through improved connectivity, not just in terms of speeds and latency but also lower energy consumption, Synchronoss CEO says, naming that as the primary reason why both consumers and businesses will see more large benefits from 5G than they did from most previous wireless upgrades. Smartphones are the last major product category made possible through the evolution of telecommunications technologies, having been popularized just over a decade ago by Apple’s iPhone lineup and the Android ecosystem. Several countries will start first commercial deployment of 5G networks in late 2018, whereas the four largest carriers in the United States expect to offer national coverage by 2020. AT&T already announced plans to begin 5G deployment in the final months of this year and Verizon is targeting early 2019 for the start of its rollout, not counting the telecom giant’s fixed wireless access solution that should become available in select cities in the second half of 2018.