Key offerings to look for in a technology partner:
Harald: AT&T decided to market their 4G LTE network as 5G Evolution (5Ge), which has led many customers into believing that their phones will be able to connect to a 5G infrastructure after a software update. The reality is that AT&Ts 5Ge has nothing to do with next-generation 5G, and the industry is churning about that. To add to the challenges, AT&Ts version of standards-based 5G is now called 5G+.
It is part of AT&Ts strategy to be positioned as a leader in emerging technology. For example, in 2011 AT&T and T-Mobile started to market HSPA+ as 4G, and then later LTE as 4G LTE.
Interviewer: So why is AT&T doing this?
Harald: The intention is to show customers that parts of their network have LTE Advanced Pro deployed, which is faster than "regular LTE," approaching early 5G speeds of 100 Mbps or more. A perhaps better move would have been for AT&T to call this 4G Evolution (or 4Ge), which probably everybody in the industry would have accepted.
Interviewer: Will the proliferation of 5G nodes create new opportunities for fog computing? How do you see this new layer of compute changing how enterprises deploy IoT applications?
Harald: Absolutely! Today, the IoT stack has three layers of compute — cloud, aggregation edge (gateways) and the physical edge (connected sensors and devices). With 5G, there is another layer at the cellular network edge called Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC), with a low-latency connection to the Aggregation Edge.
MEC provides massive compute power and enables applications to process data close to where it is generated and consumed, resulting in ultra-low latency often required by mission- and business-critical applications. By processing data locally, MEC applications can also significantly reduce data transfer costs and scale as needed without having to replace the Aggregation Edge device.
Thank you, Harald, for your insights.
To summarize our stance at Digi, wed like to leave our readers with the following messages: