Futuristic 5G Spurring Next-Gen Networking
enterprisenetworkingmag

Futuristic 5G Spurring Next-Gen Networking

By Skip Simms, Senior Vice President, Ann Arbor SPARK

Skip Simms, Senior Vice President, Ann Arbor SPARK

As an experienced professional in the industry, can you throw some light on the current challenges that the business landscape is witnessing? Also, how can these challenges effectively mitigate?

The biggest drawback businesses face has to do with their foundations. For companies, in their early stage are still trying to manage company finance, online networking, business transactions, and overall agility. It ultimately narrows down to the capacities of the community and how it can achieve those goals. This is a competitive landscape whereby the price and programming of larger pipes remain reasonable. To illustrate, in my town, there might be an option for higher speed with better bandwidth, but if there is a type of a monopolistic ISP, the price increases; preventing the smaller business from affording it.

Although that does not bother the smaller organizations from competing with the moguls of the business networking world, but the inadequacies caused by these small enterprises raise issues with client satisfaction. This limits their pace with significant organizations. A series of errors arise when obstacles appear in the rural or more secluded areas of America. These rural areas maybe 10-12 miles away from the metropolitan cities but they are not as blessed as the urban sectors are with high-speed connectivity and bandwidth. Assuming their economics for Internet Service Providers and the absence of ROI, it is evidently clear, that these startup based companies have a handful of users, and can’t afford to run along the lines. Simultaneously, it puts entrepreneurs in a state of catch 22, due to irregular network coverage in these spots.

"It's up to the company, the entrepreneur, and the technical team, to make sure that they can execute, particularly as they go to mobile and of course, a lot of this is getting away from landlines and fiber necessarily. But now the mobile and Wi-Fi and maximizing 4G but also, being prepared for 5G"

Geographically speaking, even in urban areas, looking at the neighborhoods where, if enough people are demanding access to the internet at a specified time for a particular event, it can drag systems down, as I said. It can happen in highly populated sectors even when there is good service.

How necessary is it for small businesses to find the right solution and partners when it comes to utilizing the technology? How would you approach to identify the right partnerships, the right solution providers from the lot?

It is obviously a tedious task and I can’t precisely mention what strategies these small businesses can implement and utilize because every task is time-sensitive to a particular event or activity. Many responses and replies show up late, at midnight when nobody else is online. The pipe remains open for large amounts of data to flow in but no one is awake to do business at 3:00 AM. Trouble is that’s not the only error in the system. It’s beyond internet access and the ability to push data back and forth. There are functions for running web services, proper data storage and so on.

The other day, I was reading a business plan and let’s say, for instance, a few minutes ago, a big retailer puts a new designer collaboration up for sale, the overwhelming customer demand will end up crashing the website. So anticipating these types of conditions is quite challenging.

Can you elaborate on how you see the investors maneuver their next step, in regard to potential disruption or transformations in this domain?

The obvious goal for investors is to look for high returns. Several of these angel investors, VCs and most of the chief officers are investing in very early-stage companies. These are high-risk investments and have expectations of generous ROI because not all businesses succeed. So, when investors play the card, they have to play the odds in making suitable investment decisions, as it relates to valuation. In any case, before making expenditure, investors look for company scalability: where there is an essence of growth and development within the span of 12 months. That posits a lot of social pressure on startups and their ability to communicate, primarily for the internet. Investors are not interested in the company’s ability to achieve goals; they are more focused on how the team executes a strategy to build a product— to increase current standards. An investor’s biggest concern is that the tech team stays up-to-date with the latest technology that’s out there.

With the arrival of Wi-Fi, maximizing 4G and prepping for 5G, in the end, it’s really the company and its board’s call to take on making sure they can deliver reliable solutions as they go mobile.

In the near future, what do you think will become of the networking space? What are your predictions for companies in the next two years?

It is not my place to predict but from what I can gather, it appears to be a major concern for USA, as China is at the top and way ahead of us in developing and implementing great coverage and connectivity. It is more of a concern due to national security than commercial reasons.

It is encouraging to see nations making 5G a priority but companies are worried about the ROI and the investments they are going to have to make. We can’t say if ROI is still going to be there but if it is it will be extremely costly to implement. People living in remote, rural areas, will have very limited access due to economic reasons. The 5G is going to be implemented in urban sectors first — New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago and eventually flow into smaller communities and finally, in the rural populations.

I feel that we are about two years away from the successful installation of 5G in the USA, and for this significant transition, people are already working on the job and are getting prepared for when it’s available.

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