Got the Need For 5G Speed – Many More G’s Driving Digitalization Faster-Farther Than Ever

By Thomas B. Cross – CEO

Emerging technology is always something that is “coming soon” to some part of your life at often when you are looking another way.  As you may know I love technology traveling the world to all the great shows to see the latest and greatest coming soon to your life.  With all of that effort I hope to bring you insights as what is really cool and maybe things that are “still baking” not quite ready for prime time.  Going to MWC or Mobile World Congress is one of those great events because like Pinocchio there are no more wires to almost anything-anywhere-anytime.  Yet often when I speak with executives and people implementing technology the process is like “running through sand.” 

As the saying goes, the world was created in six days because there was no installed base or legacy systems to change. And change we must in order to make change happen.  Ericsson in their own efforts to understand the needs of the business user customer of 5G identified some key insights on what needs to take place.  For example, as Ericsson noted, “digitalization is mostly about business and proportionally less about technology. This is reflected in the reasons for and approaches to evolve different processes. Some industries face major structural changes such as transition to e-commerce, sustainability electrification, forces that influence transformations across many different industries. Furthermore, competitive pressure – margin squeeze, productivity or differentiation – holds major influence on their strategies and approaches to digitalization.

Lastly, digitalization in the consumer world is beginning to shape the expectations of what customer experience, even within B2B areas, should look like.”  I would like to add my own thoughts and insights in what needs to take place for the B2B customer.  Decades ago, when copper wire ruled the world the new fiber optic technology emerged and the legacy infrastructure of the massive Bell System like Achilles Heel thought it was a fad that would go away.  Realistically, very fast fiber optic communications was indeed decades away.  However, a few saw optical fiber as the means to something one could hardly imagine such as gigabit communications to a residential home.  Today, we think beyond mere gigabits to tens and hundreds of gigabits and as a great friend of mine has also said for decades that there is “an infinite demand” for bandwidth which means much faster speeds ahead.  5G is the wireless equivalent to fiber and yet there are many “Gs” ahead.  Business are realizing that 5G will set them on a new journey and through digital transformation or digitalization to a truly incredible world.  However, like with any journey businesses must break themselves into key elements, processes, products, tools and people to find operations that are 5G-aware, 5G-ready and others. 

As Ericsson pointed out, “typical steps involve the core operations where the enterprise produces whatever value it creates, coupled with any services required to deliver it, and the supporting functions necessary for delivering it to customers, including inbound and outbound logistics, marketing and sales.”  This means rather simply that companies need a radical approach like the way fiber optics changed the way we think about bandwidth.  By changing their mindset about how they run their businesses new approaches incorporating 5G into their products, services, operations, billing and more can be accomplished.  We all know about the many failures of business were due to being stuck in old methods and look admiringly to those who were laughed at and now are leaders in their markets. 5G can be that for your business – I recommend you embrace the opportunity.

Summary – I would like to thank Ericsson for the opportunity to share some thoughts on insights in the exciting and innovative world of 5G and the many more G’s coming ahead.


There are five different types of digitalization, relevant to different enterprises and situations, each requiring their own types of solutions and with different barriers to entry. 1) Push digitalization deals with accelerating the forward productivity flow in the value chain, while 2) pull digitalization concerns adapting the value chain, to be more responsive to customer demand. 3) Value add digitalization focuses on increasing the value in the end customer’s domain, whereas 4) coordination digitalization is about bringing together resources needed for producing a certain result. Finally, 5) disruptive digitalization happens when new entrants step into the value chain. The full report explores these digitalization types and their impact.”

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