Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg told investors today that he sees three market opportunities for businesses that will require 5G — use cases that don’t exist for previous-generation cellular technologies.
Two of the opportunities involve mobile edge computing. But the one currently getting the most success is building private 5G networks for large enterprises using Verizon’s licensed spectrum, Vestberg said.
Companies are adopting private 5G in offices and factories because they want more “secure, faster and more reliable” connectivity for employee devices, he explained.
Some companies are taking private 5G one step further and adding a cloud component using MEC to “make real-time, direct business decisions in the local area,” Vestberg continued. “The real-time enterprise” is a concept that Verizon has been pushing for about two years.
Verizon has partnerships with Amazon, Microsoft and Google to support these apps, Vestberg noted.
“We see use cases in manufacturing, retail, logistics,” he said. He added, however, that it takes time for companies to integrate private 5G with MEC into their operations.
Typically, he said, they “do a proof of concept, then integrate it, then replicate it in different logistics hubs.”
The third enterprise 5G opportunity – the public MEC – is further on the horizon as it will require ubiquitous coverage across the country. But while Verizon is rolling out 5G in C-band and leveraging a partnership with Amazon, the public MEC rollout process is “moving fast,” Vestberg said.
Vestberg did not provide details on the value companies might see in the public MEC. He noted, for example, that the public MEC will support games, but didn’t explain why that’s important for businesses. Perhaps he envisions companies offering gaming apps as marketing tools or sources of income.
Verizon’s initiatives to support enterprise 5G opportunities are part of a larger strategy “to get as much connectivity and return on a big investment, which is our network,” Vestberg said.
Vestberg made his comments at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology Conference. A replay is available at this link.