The Six Five In the Booth with IBM and Dish at Mobile World Congress 2022

Six Five hosts Daniel Newman and Patrick Moorhead talk with Steve Canepa, IBM’s General Manager, Global Industries, and Mark Rouanne, Chief Network Officer at Dish, about 5G and how the companies are working together to bring it to their markets.

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Patrick Moorhead: Hi, this is Pat Moorhead with more insights and strategy. And we are here for another Six Five podcast in the IBM Booth here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Like to quickly introduce my co-host, Daniel Newman, co-founder of Futurum Research. But more importantly, our guests, Steve from IBM and Mark from Dish. Gentlemen, how are you?

Mark Rouanne: We’re good. Has been a good day. A lot of things happening. So it’s fun to see.

Patrick Moorhead: I know. Can you believe we’re back in person? I know we had our masks on walking around here, but we’ve taken these things off. I can actually see Steve. I can see Mark. See what you guys look like. And I like this.

Mark Rouanne: It’s good. It’s good to be. And there’s a lot of positive energy and it’s not too crowded. It’s perfect setup. Love that.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. 5G, big topic. I mean, Mobile World Congress. I mean, it was a big topic in 1920. We’re really starting to hit that critical mass. It’s taking a lot of shape. And one of the shapes that I think it’s taking is the industrial view, all the different industries and applications that 5G is powering. I’d love to get the Dish take on the importance and the proliferation of all this and how Dish is thinking about it and how you’re taking this to market and productizing it.

Mark Rouanne: Yeah. I think you said it. The big difference between 5G and before is that 5G was done for machines, speed latency architecture. I don’t want to go into details, but the people that created the standards thought about machines to machines or beyond humans. And we are starting to see that now in terms of consuming 5G in terms of using it.

At Dish, when we were lucky, because we came at a time where we could do a greenfield and we said, “We go for enterprise.” When we do consumer, for us, it’s another enterprise. The whole network is built natively for 5G and enterprises. And yeah, it will take time to get out there, but that’s really the promise.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah. And 5G has been exciting for smartphones the last three years. But really, to get the full value of 5G we need to get this next release out. And it’s exactly what you said, it’s the machines. It’s IoT where quite frankly people like you can get low latency, high performance when you want it. Sometimes you might not need all the performance and latency’s okay. But people just pay for what they have.

Mark Rouanne: Yeah. And what you see here is that a lot of enterprises, healthcare, smart cities, transport, they know what they want. But they need to have access to the data, the sensors, the vehicles. And they need to get that data and then they know how to manage the data and get an application and a service. Our job is to bring the data of their sensors and the machines to them, and then they can invent so many things. And that’s what 5G is there for.

Patrick Moorhead: Steve, IBM has been part of many of the G’s out there and here we are in 5G. And not everybody might know what a 5G native network needs and requires or how you built it and how maybe that compares to prior network. Can you talk to people about this?

Steve Canepa: Well, first of all, it’s great to partner and work with Dish and they’ve been a great client of ours and we’re doing some really amazing things. And I think you hit a very important point. Dish has the opportunity to start from scratch.

Patrick Moorhead: Absolutely.

Steve Canepa: To create a greenfield environment. And they can do that than using the latest, greatest in technology. And so, essentially what’s happened with network technology, it’s become a cloud platform. And that means all of the things we’ve learned over the years with IT can now be applied into this environment.

And one of the key things that we’re working with Dish on is automation. If you want to be able to be incredibly fast, take advantage of 5G and the latency and the bandwidth capabilities, one of the things you have to be able to do is to deploy that really seamlessly and really quickly. The opportunity to work with Dish, to show how we can take the most modern automation capabilities and technology and apply it to the network is a really powerful opportunity.

Daniel Newman: And speaking of modern capabilities, one of the big opportunities in discussions around 5G has been around network slicing. I mean, something that’s an opportunity, something that because of how robust the network is enables more and more applications, deployment scale. You use the words, we use them in meetings all the time, but they actually have meaning here. Talk a little bit about that. I’d love to hear your take network, slicing and the opportunity it provides.

Mark Rouanne: The thing that is interesting that for the last 10 years, enterprises have been demanding, they have for networks. They know what they want to do. They want to connect their car, their transport, but we could not as an industry offer that because there was no slicing. We were telling them, “Oh, we can sell you a SIM card.” That’s not what they want. They want to have the feeling they have the network. They want to decide when do upload the data for what price between the maintenance data or the real data that they have on their trucks or whatever.

Now we’re slicing in 5G. We can tell them, “It’s your network, it’s your policy. You manage your SIM card. You manage your access rights, you manage your data, your cost.” And they say, “Well, that’s what I wanted.” That’s the unique offer of 5G. And it was very difficult to do it in 4G. Honestly, we can mimic slicing, but it’s not real. Yeah, that’s going to be different.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah. Steve, how about from your point of view, how are you enabling this at IBM?

Steve Canepa: One way I think about it is Dish is building a world class network with connectivity. We’ve got relationships with compute, with enterprises in all industries. When you put those together, it’s a really powerful combination.

And slicing in simple terms, allows us to have full quality of the network dedicated to an application. Whether it’s health and the requirement of the network to be there at all times, or manufacturing or go down the list. The ability to bring this compute plus connectivity together in a way that’s guaranteed, that provides a quality of service that enterprises require, I think, opens up tremendous opportunities for innovation.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah. In some ways, analysts sometimes are looking to the future. We’re not futurists. We’re more like realists. Okay. But maybe with a little bit out there. And the way that I like to explain enterprise, the importance of this, and quite frankly, even looking to the future of consumer, is you only pay for what you need.

And if you’re a carrier, if you’re a telco, like Dish is now, awesome, you don’t have to put the expenditures in there, like having a flat ARPU. Like all the other proceeding G’s had. You had to have X $55 ARPU to make it a good business and deliver a good service. Sometimes Telcos were over-serving the customer. Sometimes they were under-serving. But what I’m curious though, related network slicing, how do clients know what they need? The combination of all the different latency, speed and bandwidth.

Mark Rouanne: Yeah. I think you can ask people what they need and offer that, but you can also learn from their use cases. You can learn when do they download that upgrade for their new phone? When do they use video streaming and they don’t want to be interrupted.

You can learn, and then you can serve that those patterns and see when they are dropping a call and then you can fix it. I think it’s a mix between offering a service, but learning. To the extent that my dream would be that the network disappears, connectivity. I mean, think of roaming today. You take your phone to another country, it works. You don’t even think of it.

And I would love to have the same in any kind of use case. You’re not worried about the cost. You’re not worried about, does it work? You are going into a meeting video meetings. You’re not worried about dropping it, about voice quality. That’s our mandate abstracted so that the use case is becoming what is important.

Steve Canepa: When we talk about automation, to pick up on Mark’s point on learning, we can infuse AI and machine learning right into the processes. The network becomes smarter every time something happens. And that’s what we want. We want to learn over time so that we can provide more and more services. And to your point, we’ll learn how to optimize those services based on the use cases that we’re deploying.

Patrick Moorhead: Right. And maybe even predict what the end customer wants before they even know it.

Mark Rouanne: Yeah. Because it’s a pattern. You have seen it from other users. And so you start learning. It is always pretty much the same, so you can predict.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, absolutely. I was going to ask them and you were reading my mind. I was going to say, let’s talk about automation and AI. And then you talked about it, then you spoke more and then you finished them off.

You know what I’m going to do is I’m going to finish off the show. Mark, Steve, thank you guys so much for joining. Congratulations on your launch at Dish and congratulations on the partnership. We appreciate you having us, you for this Six Five In the Booth.

Patrick Moorhead: Thank you very much.

Mark Rouanne: Thanks, guys. Appreciate it.

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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