The Battle for DoD 5G Flares Up — What’s Ahead – Futurum Tech Webcast

In this episode of the Futurum Tech Webcast, I’m joined by my colleagues here at Futurum Research, Olivier Blanchard and Ron Westfall for a conversation around the battle for DoD 5G and how, and why, that’s flaring up, and a look at what’s ahead.

DoD Use Cases for 5G are Broad

We discussed the fact that DoD use cases for 5G are broad, and it’s not just about secure cellphone communications. These use cases include things like:

  • AR/VR training for mission planning and operations
  • Increasing efficiencies and strength of transshipments
  • Smart warehousing
  • Distributed command and control using 5G to assist in air, space, and cyberspace lethality
  • The ability to allow Air Force radar systems to dynamically share spectrum with commercial 5G users

DoD Contract Awards are Vast – and Growing

Olivier noted that the DoD has already awarded some $600 million in contracts to a dozen companies, including AT&T, Nokia, and Ericsson, to develop a half a dozen 5G testbeds across the United States. AT&T is providing connectivity at three facilities and we discussed some additional projects currently underway, including one at Naval Base San Diego and one at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

Our conversation included the fight for 5G midband real estate, which falls under the category of “unlicensed spectrum,” and all that’s involved there.

We discussed the Beat China for 5G Act, which would require the FCC to auction the band by December 2021, around which there are competing amps. One is the “business as usual” camp, which supports having the FCC auction off the band per the Beat China for 5G Act and the other supports having the DoD retain control of the band but lease it to commercial operators in the “wholesale” model.

Our discussion turned to the Request for Information on Defense Spectrum Sharing issued by the DoD on September 18th 2020 and the issues of spectrum sharing at play here.

We also discussed Rivada, one of the companies proposing the leasing of the DoD tech infrastructure to a private corporation and a free market approach to next gen 5G networks. Rivada is a US-based communications tech business financially backed by Peter Thiel, Karl Rove, and other prominent Republicans, which is partly why the discussion around this topic is particularly relevant as one administration eventually transitions to another. It’s important to note here, and our discussion revolved around this, that this exploration on the part of the DoD is about 5G Dynamic Spectrum Sharing capabilities, not a nationwide 5G network.

Ron walked us through Open RAN technology, which introduces new U.S.-based competitors like Mavenir, Altiostar, and Parallel Wireless into the 5G competitive and ecosystem mix, and which are an alternative to Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson, and Nokia, all of whom have traditional RAN models.

You can watch the webcast here (and subscribe to our YouTube Channel while you’re at it)

Or stream the podcast here:

It was one of many discussions our team here at Futurum Research will have about 5G and what’s ahead. We know that geopolitical concerns related to national security can (and will) quickly shift as 5G technology rapidly evolves — and we’ll be there leading the discussion.

Disclaimer: The Futurum Tech Podcast is for information and entertainment purposes only. Over the course of this podcast, we may talk about companies that are publicly traded and we may even reference that fact and their equity share price, but please do not take anything that we say as a recommendation about what you should do with your investment dollars. We are not investment advisors and we do not ask that you treat us as such.

Other Futurum Research insights of interest:

Mavenir’s OpenRAN Market Validity Swiftly Expands with DISH and Vodafone Idea Deals

Huawei and Chinese Government Allegedly Working Together to Undermine 4G, 5G Network Equipment Competitors in Key Markets

Ericcson’s 5G Supply Chain Credentials are Fortified with Breakthrough Delivery of 5G MmWave Base Station to Verizon

Mavenir Analyst Day 2019: Ready to Make the 5G Era Open


Shelly Kramer: Hello, and welcome to this episode of the Futurum Tech Webcast. I’m your host Shelly Kramer, and I’m joined today by my fellow analysts here at Futurum, Olivier Blanchard and Ron Westfall. Hello, gentlemen.

Ron Westfall: Good day, Friday the 13th. Omens abound.

Shelly Kramer: Only good things are going to happen on Friday the 13th. So, I will preface this by saying, this is our regular weekly webcast, and we’re excited to be taking this live to LinkedIn and to our Facebook page. And if you’re watching, welcome. We’re glad to have you. I’ll start also with our disclaimer that we are technology analysts, and we have many, many opinions and thoughts, and we might mention publicly traded companies. We might mention private companies. This show is not intended for investment advice or anything else. This is for information and educational purposes only. So with that, we’re going to get started. And, our topic today is around the battle for DOD 5G.

And, there’s lots of talk right now on that topic. And I’ll tell you part of the reason that I was interested in this topic is I was listening to an interview yesterday, and it was around the state of limbo that we’re in following a presidential election, and different things that are happening at the DOD, and different agreements that are being signed and things like that.

And one of the topics that came up for discussion was the privatization of 5G networks. And the fact that that was a little bit of a concern at this particular point in time. So, my team and I started talking about that, and we thought it was a great time to cover this battle for DOD 5G and to take a step back, and there’s so much more to this story beyond just the potential privatization of these networks. So, with that, we’re going to dive into this conversation a little bit, and I think Olivia, you’re going to give us a little bit of background there.

Olivier Blanchard: Oh, wow. Okay. All right. So, it befalls me to introduce this topic. So, a couple of things. So, what we’re talking about here isn’t all of 5G, it’s a specific band, specifically mid bands in the sub six gigahertz spectrum of 5G. So, you have millimeter wave, which is much higher, it’s the high band, and then you have low band and mid bands for the type of 5G that we’re already seeing in deployments here.

And it’s a focus on a very narrow sliver of 5G in the mid bands between 3.45 gigahertz and 3.55 gigahertz. That falls into the category of unlicensed spectrum, which typically is something that in the United States is reserved for military federal or government applications. And the idea here is that because 5G is so important to industry, it’s so important to the developments of actually just deployments of 5G, and the development of strong 5G networks for consumers with their cell phones, but also in the industrial IOT, it’s really important to be competitive with the rest of the world, that the United States began to revisit its policy of keeping certain slivers of spectrum limited to the government and make it available for industry and for commercial wireless network operators.

And so, that’s what this fight is about specifically. And there are two camps right now fighting over how to proceed, how to move forward in the next two years basically, which is like the window of opportunity for this to happen. On the one hand, you have one side led by mostly the wireless network operators. Like the AT&T’s of the world, who would like to see the government give up this band and auction it off through the FCC. And then you have another side, the other side of this tug of war, which is more DOD focused that wants the band to be managed by the Department of Defense, and licensed to 5G network operators and a wholesale scenario. But then 5G wireless operators would have to go to the Federal Government, specifically the Department of Defense to have access to these networks, or at least to this narrow bandwidth.

So, that’s really what we’re talking about. And to give you a broader perspective on where this falls in the 5G spectrum. So, we’re talking about Sub-6. You have like these not milestones, but beachheads of bands within the Sub-6 spectrum. You have 2.5 gigahertz. You have the 3.5 gigahertz, which is what this falls into, which is unlicensed. And then you have also higher levels, like 3.7 to 4.2 gigahertz, which is licensed. And then 5.9 to 7.1 gigahertz, which is unlicensed. And those last two that I just mentioned are being looked at by the FCC to also see where and how that’s going to be used and shared over the next few years. So anyway, that was my broad introduction, not until with the DOD wants to do with this, but what we’re talking about specifically, what this fight is really about.

Shelly Kramer: Well, Ron, I know you have some thoughts on this topic. So, dive in.

Ron Westfall: Naturally, and yes, Olivier made excellent points. And additional context is that what’s going on here is on the one hand nothing new. The fact is that the FCC has already taken spectrum that was allocated originally for government use and have already auctioned it off. For example in the 600 megahertz range that was originally used for TV stations over the air and now that is spectrum that is part of the overall 5G allocation. And so, there really has been a strategic push to get as much spectrum as possible available for 5G network capability specifically. And, the major benefactors of these options are the usual suspects. They’re the major carriers and other network providers, including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, et cetera. And I think what’s also important to note is that when it comes to the Department of Defense, there is this new capability called dynamic spectrum sharing, which is unique to 5G.

This is something that is not capable with previous generations of G. And that is simply being able to use a spectrum on a more efficient dynamic basis as the namesake indicates. And what the department of defense is interested in looking at, is this is something that can get beyond the experimental stage. Does it have a real viable application, not just for military purposes, but also for commercial purposes. i.e a wholesaler that does lease this spectrum out to private networks and other interested parties. And as a result have a far more efficient, a far more resilient network than it was possible before. And, what’s also driving a great deal of this is the global aspects here. We know that China, for example, is further along in terms of 5G deployments across their country and the number of subscribers they have.
And, in a part of that is intrinsic.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Ron Westfall: China obviously has over a billion citizens. So, naturally their subscriber counts are going to be higher compared to virtually any other country in the world except India. However, what we’re seeing is that with these 5G deployments, there really hasn’t been any major breakthroughs in terms of capabilities yet. So, I think it’s slightly over hyped, oh, the US is trailing China. This is going to be a long-term strategic liability. I think what we’re seeing, and we’re already seeing this with early 5G deployments in the US, but another cutting edge deployment countries like South Korea is that 5G is an improvement over previous generations of mobile networks, particularly 4G LTE in terms of enhanced mobile broadband capabilities. So, for example, mobile streaming is more efficient, better quality on the consumer side, and also it’s boosting some niche capabilities such as cloud gaming. But otherwise, we really need to get the 5G ecosystem up and running to have more applications that come through, and can really deliver the innovation that we hearing about especially on the enterprise side, in terms of industry automation, making VR AR capabilities available on a mass scale.

And this is also history repeating itself. When we first deployed 4G LTE, nobody had like, oh, here’s the Uber use case ready to go. We had to wait for that network to be built out. And then boom, the Uber use case took off because it was taking advantage of the nationwide network capabilities were finally available, and likewise with the Netflix use case. So, I think a little patience is required. And yes, this is politics intersecting with technology. This is nothing new. However, we do need to find out more about what 5G is capable of before we jump to conclusions that, oh, the Department of Defense has to adopt just this policy in order to catch up with China type of mindset.

Shelly Kramer: Well, I think to your point about China, to be fair, I think the China planted a flag in the 5G space very, very, early. And, I think that as a country, not only within their own country, but across the world, worked hard to make significant inroads in the 5G space. And then, that has come crashing down upon them in many ways as a result of the current administration and our struggles with China and that thing. And not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, but I’m just saying that China has made significant inroads in this space. And I feel like what China is doing is always a significant driver in what we’re doing here in the United States and elsewhere. Isn’t that a fair statement?

Ron Westfall: Oh, sure. Yeah. I mean, the technology in terms of looking at patents, China based suppliers such as Huawei, and ZTE, their ability to compete in the international markets. Part of that has been thanks to the China National Government providing tax credits and other forms of subsidy that enable price point competition in addition to technical capabilities. And you’re right, it’s become more of a geopolitical concern. These are national security considerations that are definitely coming to the forefront. And so, you’ve seen the US and other closely allied countries such as, Australia, Japan, India after the border conflict with China, all dialing back the ability of their China based suppliers being able to supply the 5G network to their countries, at least to the carriers that are licensed to operate in their country.

And, this is a new reality. And it’s not necessarily going to go away anytime soon,

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Ron Westfall: Because of these new capabilities that 5G can deliver. Like, being able to automate an entire factory through a mobile network is something new. It can include wifi 6 capabilities, but the main driver here is unique capabilities in terms of the decreased latency, the higher bandwidth, the agility of 5G that can actually make something like this happen on a wide spread level. And so, this is something that’s a concern. You don’t want technology that could theoretically be compromised because of the close relationship between the suppliers in China and the government there. It’s just something that has to be hedged against in terms of what is going on with a lot of the decision makers with the US, Europe, Asia and elsewhere. And so, this is definitely part of what is going on in terms of 5Gs global progress.

Shelly Kramer: Olivier, I know you have thoughts on this front.

Olivier Blanchard: Yeah, I know it’s weird because, and everything that Ron just said is spot on. But it’s odd to look at the difference between how China views the importance of 5G and how the United States does. And, I don’t mean to seem naive and say that one side is doing something different from the other. But, China definitely sees a potential in 5G, like a geo strategic potential in 5G.

Shelly Kramer: Absolutely.

Olivier Blanchard: Very military centric. I don’t want to say that it’s a potential backdoor into the world’s 5G networks, but that’s definitely one of the accusations that’s guided US policy and other countries with regard to how much Huawei equipment they will allow in their critical 5G networks.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Olivier Blanchard: I think that there’s some validity in the worry there. This is not something that the US however has an equal part or a proportional patent. The US is not doing this. The US doesn’t have a Huawei.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Olivier Blanchard: We develop chipsets. We have Qualcomm, we have companies like Intel, but we don’t necessarily try to provide massive amounts of market share of network equipment to the rest of the world. And so, what we’re engaged in here is the one-sided cold war that’s absolutely not obvious to the average person. A technology cold war with 5G at its center.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Olivier Blanchard: With China essentially trying to leverage and worm its way into a lot of our networks through 5G network equipment and software, and the United States playing a completely different game, which is on the one hand very defensive, and on the other a much more economic in nature. And so, it’s interesting to see how this discussion about the Department of Defense is use of certain slivers of spectrum, is so limited as opposed to the Chinese military’s involvement with 5G which has to actually back companies like Huawei, finance them and be behind a lot of their strategies.

Shelly Kramer: Well, speaking of economics though, that has always been the brilliance behind Huawei strategy. I mean, from the earliest days, this is a company that realized that there were all of these rural communities that weren’t being served in China. And so, building those networks, making it affordable for those areas to have the equipment that they needed, and then moving into other parts of the world, and other parts of the United States. Again, making that equipment affordable. And that’s a big problem with the spectrums and what’s available. I mean, telcos have lots of money invested in existing networks. And so, to replace those networks with 5G technology is expensive. So, when you can bring economics into the conversation and make it affordable, that was the value proposition that Huawei brought to the table and this was happening all over the world, and nobody was really paying very much attention to it.

And then all of a sudden we started having conversations around the Chinese government’s alleged involvement in Huawei and other companies, and did that pose national security risk and, oh, we needed to go a different path. And so, in many instances, you’ve got companies across the globe who are removing, going to the added expense of removing Huawei equipment. And I can’t remember I was reading something about British telecom, it’s like $5,000,000 or something, to remove the equipment that’s already in place, that they now need to replace. So, economics plays a very, very, big role here.

Olivier Blanchard: And we should point out that one of the things that was happening, one of the reasons why Huawei was so successful internationally with capturing so much of that network equipment market share, is because it was able to undercut the pricing of its competitors, companies like, Nokia, Ericsson, because it was being subsidized by the Chinese government and specifically the Chinese military. And so, what we have is this weird potentially anti-competitive behavior around the world,

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Olivier Blanchard: Where Huawei was essentially price fixing and undercutting everyone because it was being subsidized quietly, not officially by the Chinese government. And the advantage for Huawei is that it captured all this market share, the advantage for the Chinese government was essentially creating all these 5G beachheads,

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Olivier Blanchard: Around the world, and no one was really scrutinizing this until just a couple of years ago and they were doing this with 4G as well by the way.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Olivier Blanchard: That’s when they started creating this giant web of network equipment dependency. So, it was a clever long range strategy by the Chinese government when the US is still fighting over shared spectrum so that some air base in Utah and it’s radar operations can share a little sliver of spectrum with commercial users down the street who have logistics plants and manufacturing facilities.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Olivier Blanchard: So, those are the two different games that we’re playing and they’re very different.

Shelly Kramer: Well, and I think the other thing that China has an advantage that Asian countries in general have is that, they are quite a bit ahead of us as it relates to immersing their societies in all things digital. Things like mobile payments. When I was in China a couple of years ago, I was traveling with a friend, just has an ID card, gets on the train, ID card. No, nonsense. Everything is automated. Everything is mobile payments and to serve the populations that they have, this is efficient. It makes sense. And so, I think that the United States has long been behind. Sometimes haven’t paid as much attention in terms of those advancements. And again, some of it is due to huge populations, but even the use of technology, the IOT robotics in factories and things like that in many instances, and this doesn’t intended to slam the US at all, but I’m just saying, this is a country and a lot of Asian companies in general have really embraced technology and digital transformation in ways that their American counterparts, in some instances, and other countries as well in the world have not done.

So, I think that all of this makes sense. One of the things I want to circle back to is with regard to this RFI that the Department of Defense put out. What they were basically asking for was information from people, from companies in the technology landscape. You want to talk with us a little bit, Ron, about that RFI and what it was that the DOD was looking for on that front?

Ron Westfall: Sure. Yeah. This is business as usual. Government agencies put out RFI request for information and RFPs requests for proposals on a regular basis. And, we already saw this for example, with what resulted in the first net public safety network. That process yielded. A contract win for AT&T to coordinate the first nationwide broadband network which was definitely motivated by the 911 attacks. And so, 11 years later Congress finally got around to acting on that. And what this is indicating is that the Department of Defense is definitely keeping a close eye on the security of the country, and what is the best way to leverage the 5G spectrum, and what the RFI is definitely looking at is how to use dynamic spectrum sharing capabilities or DSS, which is unique to 5G. It’s not applicable to previous generations of mobile technology.

And it’s just fundamentally how can the spectrum be optimized on a more dynamic level. That is being able to, on a real-time basis, see, okay, this bandwidth is not being used in this channel. How can it then be cut over and then used by somebody else who needs it? It’s just really load balancing principles being applied to a 5G spectrum. And it’s a good thing to definitely want to know more about. It’s in experimental stage right now. And that’s what the Department of Defense is contemplating. And I think the application is, does the Department of Defense then turn around and lease it’s midband spectrum to third parties. I think there is resistance to that from the private networks out there. And there’s a good reason for that. It means you’re having to literally not have control of the spectrum that you really want to have direct control over in order to have more positive business outcomes and so forth, or do it the traditional way of handing over the spectrum to the FCC and then auctioning it off.

But, oh, by the way, we know these dynamic spectrum sharing capabilities are real, that they have these tangible benefits. We did these tests out at the military bases and places like Utah and so forth. And I think that is really the most important thing here. And there’s politics involved. There is a rumor that the Trump administration is looking to fast track it on a no-bid basis to Rivada, which has already won previous contract in terms of the tactical communications bid that went out to different bidders, and there were over 30 contractors that ended up as part of that. And so, Rivada is one of 30. So, this is nothing new for them to be involved in this. So, the upshot here is that they’ve already worked with the US secret service in terms of supporting their tactical communications network. So, working with the Department of Defense in this area would not be nothing new. It’s just, hopefully it will be done on a more objective, normal bid process and not have this rumored shortcut which I don’t think it’s going to happen.

Shelly Kramer: All right. What are your thoughts on that, Olivier?

Olivier Blanchard: Well, just to add a little bit of texture to what Ron brilliantly just explained.

Shelly Kramer: You’re a color commentator.

Olivier Blanchard: Yes. Yeah, of course I have the red microphone.

Shelly Kramer: You do.

Olivier Blanchard: So, the Department of Defense has already awarded over half a billion dollars in contracts to a dozen companies, including AT&T, since we keep talking about AT&T, they’re definitely a long partner of the DOD,

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Olivier Blanchard: With wireless networks. But also Nokia and Ericsson, others to develop a half dozen testbeds, 5G testbeds around the US. And so, it’s interesting, and these are all military bases. So, there are definitely specific military applications. But it’s interesting to see what they’re actually working on. And I think that this informs what the department of defense actually wants to do with 5G. What it’s experimenting with 5G as opposed to the political shenanigans of Washington and companies like Rivada, and who’s for it, who’s against it.

But I mean, what we’re talking about are things that are very commercially aligned, which is why the DOD seems to want to work with commercial wireless network operators and other technology companies using commercial equipment and not necessarily trying to take over and reinvent the wheel. The Department of Defense should not be in the business of developing 5G solutions. So, the stuff we’re talking about is like AR and VR training for mission, planning and operations, it’s increasing efficiency and strength of transshipment. We have to remember that the United States military, the Department of Defense is probably the biggest logistics organization in the world,

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Olivier Blanchard: It’s not UPS, it’s not Amazon. It’s the United States government. Lot of smart warehousing, which is where some of the shared spectrum is really important because again, what we’re talking about is the IOT, or in this case the industrial IOT.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Olivier Blanchard: In this midband, and then millimeter wave will come later. That’s a whole different spectrum. But also distributed command and control. Using 5G to assist in lethality in sea, land and air. And again, there’s a lot of dynamic spectrum sharing involved here where the DOD wants to be able to use some of this stuff, some of this bandwidth for logistics, for their plants, for whatever they’re doing, and also be able to allow commercial operators to share or redistribute some of this bandwidth to adjacent businesses that may in fact also be contractors and be serving the military, but not necessarily in a direct capacity. So, in a support role. So, the military isn’t political in the sense. The military is looking at its mission requirements and what it’s trying to accomplish. The good news with all this is regardless of whichever way this goes, the dynamic spectrum sharing capabilities of 5G are definitely helping push the sharing of spectrum, and sharing of bandwidth out of just pure government use and into this joints, the shared use of those bands.

So, whether the FCC ends up auctioning off that spectrum or commercial operators need to lease it from the Department of Defense. In the end, I think the result is the same. What we’re talking about ultimately is who makes the money and where the money passes, or who it passes through. So, there are a lot of obviously very lucrative contracts in balance here.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Olivier Blanchard: But, at the end of the day, the DOD and commercial businesses are going to be able to share the spectrum, one way or another. That’s the good news. Everything else is just dirty politics unfortunately. But maybe we should talk about the Beat China for 5G Act. So, since I introduced it, I’ll just give you a quick rundown. The Beat China for 5G Act as its name implies is an act, it’s a proposed bit of legislation that would require the FCC to auction the band by December 2021, which would of course, block the DOD from licensing that band and just stick to the way that we normally do things, which is to auction off bandwidth, as opposed to the DOD managing it. And that is something that would be bad for Rivada potentially.

Shelly Kramer: Interesting. I do know that I haven’t heard of the Beat China Act before. So, I will definitely,

Olivier Blanchard: Yeah. I probably will. The news have been saturated with,

Shelly Kramer: Right, other things.

Olivier Blanchard: Other things recently. So, we’re not really hearing a lot about some of this legislation. But I think that once the smoke clears, and this becomes a bigger issue as 5G is, you’ll start hearing about it.

Ron Westfall: One thing I think we had to keep a close eye on in all of this, and it goes back to Olivier’s observations about the competitive landscape, and yes, vendors like Huawei and ZTE, we’re able to make inroads within the traditional implementation of mobile networks using a proprietary RAN implementation. And that definitely involves Ericsson and Nokia, who both have investment in the US that’s direct.

For example, Erickson has a 5G manufacturing facility here in the US. Nokia obviously has bell labs here in the US, all of them driving 5G R&D. And what I think is important is that all this that can very well become less of a competitive driver as Open RAN technology becomes more prevalent. Definitely we are seeing major operators like Vodafone advocating that Open RAN needs to be part of the fabric of any future 5G build.

And so, that would actually play it to the advantage of what can be characterized as Open RAN specialists like Mavenir, Altiostar, Parallel Wireless. All of them are actually US-based companies. And we also saw Samsung, which is Korean base win a huge contract with Verizon to the tune of $600,000,000. So, the competitive landscape is shifting because of technical developments that can very well undercut or supersede whatever the governments are mandating. Being cliche about regulations, always chasing what’s going on, and the reality of the market and technology. And so, I think as we see Open RAN become more mainstream and more widely adopted. Some of these considerations that we’re talking about today could be antiquated within that two year timeframe that Olivier had referred to succinctly.

Shelly Kramer: Advancements in technology wait for no one.

Ron Westfall: Exactly.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Olivier Blanchard: I think that’s why China has a little bit of an advantage over us. And for all the bad press that central planning, the term central planning gets because it’s communism and it’s terrible,

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Olivier Blanchard: There is something to be said about having a national strategy,

Shelly Kramer: Yup.

Olivier Blanchard: A coherent national strategy, whichever one it is, it doesn’t really matter. And that’s, I think the job of on the one hand the house in the Senate. To be able to have debates about this, but also bring in experts from Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Energy.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Olivier Blanchard: And the wireless operators as well, and just have a national debate about where we need to go. And as opposed to having just one central committee make these decisions in closed rooms for the rest of us, part of the benefit of having a democracy and the benefits of the American system, is that we could still have central planning, but the process was central decision-making. But the process of arriving at the best possible decision depends on our ability to have everyone work together and bring in the right parties, the right stakeholders to have this debate, and then just decide where we want to go. And unfortunately, currently that’s not what’s happening. And the fact that virtually no one has heard of the Beat China for 5G Act,

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Olivier Blanchard: Is,

Shelly Kramer: Problematic. Including me.

Olivier Blanchard: Yes. Right. It’s so low on the list of priorities,

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Olivier Blanchard: But at the same time it’s unfortunate that, that we’re so distracted by other things that we’re not focusing on this while China is. And that’s where we shoot ourselves in the foot a little bit. Yep.

Shelly Kramer: Well, hopefully we can get that train right and moving forward. But, really go going to my point earlier about China. I mean, they are focused, they are strategic, they are committed. Nothing is going to get in the way of us making this happen in their approach and the United States. To date, we have not had that approach. So, I think we do very much need to get our arms around that. Well, gentlemen, I think that’s about all of our time today. So, we’re going to wrap this up. Thank you very much to our audience for hanging out with us today and Ron and Olivia, always a pleasure to have conversations with you. And, I can promise you, we’re going to be talking about 5G a lot more.

Olivier Blanchard: Yup.

Shelly Kramer: So, with that, we’re going to sign off today, and have a great rest of your day, and we’ll see you again.

Author Information

Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”


Latest Insights:

IBM’s New Solution Is Crucial for Seamless Data Sharing and Discovery Across Organizations
Steven Dickens, VP and Practice Leader, highlights that by addressing data management challenges, the IBM’s Data Product Hub ensures efficient access, governance, and utilization of data products, paving the way for successful AI-driven innovations.
Hasan Siraj, Head of Software Products / Ecosystem at Broadcom, joins hosts Dave Nicholson and Lisa Martin to share his insights on Ethernet's increasing role in AI infrastructure and how Broadcom is innovating to meet the complex needs of AI networking.
Lenovo’s QoQ and YoY Execution in the Expanding Hybrid, Distributed AI Ecosystem Is Fueling an Accelerating Growth Trajectory Across Its Businesses
Olivier Blanchard, Research Director with the Futurum Group, and Steven Dickens, VP and Practice Lead, share their insights into Lenovo’s Q4 and FY 23/24 earnings and drill down into how the company’s pocket-to-cloud strategy is already working.
Jas Tremblay and Robert Hormuth share insights on Broadcom and AMD's forward-looking strategy for Open Architecture in AI, highlighting the collaboration's potential to drive efficiency and scalability.