2020 was supposed to be the year of 5g, but all anyone could talk about is the Corona Virus How to carry yourself folks on the idea of 5g internet speeds on the go.
And we're all stuck at home with Verizon and early leader in 5g, we asked now what.
Joining me is Kyle Malady, Chief Technology Officer of Verizon.
Kyle, the last five months we have been stuck at home, the economy has melted down, and really the coronavirus has upended everything.
Add the fact that millions have lost their jobs and disposable income just isn't what it used to be.
How do you sell the benefits of 5G in this environment?
It's an interesting question because we plan, plan, planned and then all of a sudden nobody saw this thing come in and it's different.
But so there's some downsides to it, but then there's some also some upsides to it as well.
I We have not seen the demand for a fixed wireless access product like we are right now.
And we've been limited in what we can do from a 4G perspective with respect to fixed wireless access just because like we're talking about before, kind of the bandwidth limitations You know, now as we put more bandwidth out there, we put millimeter wave out there, that'll open up some potential for more fixed wireless access type products that we can offer to people and that's gonna come in handy for people, especially in the COVID environment if they're working from home They can't get a good broadband connection, you can use wireless for underserved underprivileged folks, we can use mifi, and people can get on websites, or and do their schoolwork.
So we think there's a good opportunity, There are some on the other side of it, we've put in some, in stadiums, we put some 5g millimeter wave deployments around the country.
We really showed it off at Super Bowl and the capabilities there.
But largely the those stadiums they're empty right now.
So but we do believe that though people come back there We're working, we're still working on the use cases and things that can really augment people's experiences when they do return to stadiums.
Well, so I mean, that's a good point.
I mean, there are you have the pieces in place to make this work when society goes back to normal.
Problem is we don't really know when that'll actually happen.
And I'm curious to see what is what demand looks like right now for 5gG devices.
I know there's the element of Some folks want to future proof themselves want to be ready for 5G when it's, broadly available and go out again.
But there's also the other element that folks are, watching what they're spending a lot more right now.
There's a lot of uncertainty out there.
So what are you seeing in terms of customer demand?
it's probably early adopters.
People want to see the first The first of its kind, and what the promise we have to those folks is we continue to grow the network, new capabilities will come on.
And as they do, you'll be you'll start availing yourself of those new services.
And we're working obviously closely with the application developer ecosystem.
So that they're developing things that we'll be able to leverage the what we call the currencies, really the capabilities, if you will, of what 5g networks will bring.
So we continue on, we don't believe COVID This will last forever.
And but there's also other opportunities that we see that could 5G can help move things further, for example, factories.
If you get more automation in factories, you get a good millimeter wave 5G system in.
That is much more robust than say a current Wi Fi system.
You may be able to do things more efficiently in a factory.
So, those are things we're working with some of our customers on right now.
That's a good Segue because I know 5G isn't just about higher speeds for your phone.
There's a lot more to 5G I'm curious what you think the applications are of IV that specifically would help leviate some of the issues were having right now whether telemedicine, whether it's remote work.
What are some of the opportunities, I know you talked about home broadband is as one option, but what are some of the other opportunities out there?
Yeah I mean there's so many, well it's funny so we We both have our landline network and a wireless network.
And mainly we're talking about wireless here.
But on the landline side, and that to some extent on the wireless side, we've been monitoring every day I look at how, what normal was before and then how our networks are being utilized and where geographically spread, and looking at applications and so what's happening Gaming is huge game, the growth of gaming, like skyrocketed.
It's actually come down a little bit because I think people figured out how to work from home.
Initially, it was probably a little bit of a honeymoon period and people probably play more games.
We've seen it come down but it's still way high video applications.
Now everybody you know if you go back before pandemic.
Sure I knew how to use a WebEx and maybe one other now I know like five different video things.
And video is gonna be, I think very important in the future of 5g because you're going to bring in things like AR and VR, and computer vision technology and you know, Ai Ml type scenario so you can use computer vision to do different things.
All of these kind of things require really.
Snappy, fast interfaces and really low latency scenarios, all of which what 5g ultra wide brand band can bring people.
a specific example.
You talked about telehealth I think that's we think there's going to be that's going to grow a lot.
I think just by virtue of people don't want to go to a doctor.
Though people evolve and figure out ways to do things at home.
We're working right now with a firm that is using 5G along with our Mac that we just announced with AWS.
So they're able to really do edge computing and some Run machine learning models out at the edge to get real time results in an operating room, so with polyps and stuff.
It makes it much easier for for these folks to operate because right now what they do is they have large server farms, running these models in the hospitals.
That's costly, they break Maintaining them as tough.
If you could take all of that away, you can run these things in the cloud more effectively.
That's good for everybody.
So it's good for the patient.
It's good for the hospital, and, moves things along.
So it's, it's really things like that.
Like you said, if we just make this a snappier phone, that's that's really not what we're going for.
We're going for what our new.
Inputs, interfaces, new experiences, how do you make things more efficient?
And it goes across the whole board of the economy we feel so I'm really excited to see how this evolves and what people will use these currencies and these capabilities, new and cool stuff and I just can't wait to see what they do.
There's a bit of a way that the keep America connected pledge which was enacted during early in the early days of pandemic was promised not to cut service off.
That's expired and I know you deal more with the technical side of things, but so have you have to ask what is Verizon doing to help customers Deal with imagine lots of hardship right now.
Yeah, you know, I think we're doing a lot for a lot of people but I think the thing, the thing that sticks out most for me that I'm pretty proud of us as an organisation.
We kind of identified right away the whole you know, kids kids schooling at home.
Was it was a bit of an issue.
So we stepped up right away and started donating services and devices, especially to schools in places that didn't have, they just didn't have the resources to do it themselves.
And I, the last I looked, I think we're supporting over 100,000 students.
And really once again, it's really using the 4G network, right?
So we were able to figure out how do we how can we manipulate the the network a little bit to offer this and you know, I'm really proud of that because that means there's kids who are otherwise not be learning for an extended period of time.
Now they're able to learn and they're able to keep up with their studies.
So You know, it's things like that we've been doing at the fundamental grassroots effort.
That is important.
The other thing that's really, important is adapting our network to the new kind of the way people are spread out.
If you think about it, you know, around here in New York City every morning a whole bunch of people go into Manhattan.
When we set up the network to support that kind of support that kind of usage that's not happening anymore so that uses that used to happen Manhattan now happens out Long Island.
It happens in New Jersey, Hudson Connecticut.
It's it's changed the dynamic of the network.
And how things are used, especially a video chat, etc.
And I give my team a tonne of credit for adapting to that really, really quickly.
So service levels can be maintained and gaming can go up 300% and you don't you don't see a you don't see a degradation in your service.
All right, well thank you very much for your time.
Really appreciate it.
This is Carla lady Chief Technology Officer of reservoir lists.