Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg told investors today that he sees three enterprise market opportunities 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 that is currently getting the most traction is building private 5G networks for large enterprises using Verizon’s licensed spectrum, Vestberg said.
Enterprises are adopting private 5G in offices and factories because they want to have more “secure, faster, more reliable” connectivity for employee devices, he explained.
Some enterprises are taking private 5G a step further and are adding a cloud component using MEC to “take directly business-related decisions in real time in the local zone,” 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 applications, Vestberg noted.
“We see use cases in manufacturing, retail, logistics,” he said. He added, though, that it takes some time for enterprises to incorporate private 5G with MEC into their operations.
Typically, he said, they “do a proof of concept, then put it in, then replicate it in different logistics centers.”
The third enterprise 5G opportunity – public MEC — is farther out on the horizon because it will require ubiquitous coverage across the country. But as Verizon deploys 5G in the C-band and leverages a partnership with Amazon, the process of rolling out public MEC is “going quickly,” Vestberg said.
Vestberg didn’t provide details on the value that enterprises may see in the public MEC. He noted, for example, that public MEC will support gaming, but didn’t explain why that’s important to enterprises. Perhaps he envisions enterprises offering gaming applications as marketing tools or as sources of revenue.
Verizon’s initiatives to support enterprise 5G opportunities is part of a broader strategy “to get as much connectivity and return on one 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.