Five Minutes With... Kyle Okamoto
Ericsson’s IoT business has a new General Manager. Kyle Okamoto stepped into the role earlier this year. We sat down with him to see how he’s getting along, as well as to ask what the next few months have in store for the Internet of Things.
Could you outline your new role and responsibilities?
My job as General Manager of the IoT business within Ericsson is to enable the ecosystem to unlock their full imaginations as we bridge the gap between possibility and reality (while we make the Internet better).
Moving from the holistic goal of bettering society through technology and innovation, we are here to help both the Enterprise and Service Provider communities utilise connectivity and device solutions seamlessly to support their Internet of Things use cases around the world. This includes being where our customers operate with a highly stable and resilient platform that works the way they want to use it to power digital liberation, improve efficiency, unlock new revenue streams, increase customer engagement and unlock data-driven insights.
What are some of your goals for IoT at Ericsson?
Said plainly, we want to be the best for our partners and customers. This means having a truly global reach for borderless coverage, providing our customers with industry-leading capabilities and service-levels, leveraging Ericsson’s amazing cellular technologies to power businesses, and powering growth on demand as innovation becomes the norm.
More generally, what are some of the bigger hurdles that stand in the way of increased IoT adoption, like security for example?
Each industry is going through their own unique adoption curve with their own unique hurdles, but there are some consistencies across the ecosystem – managing a massive amount of devices across their ecosystem is a challenge, so they need the right platform to make their lives easier and simpler with less manual efforts; keeping their data pipeline robust and intact while generating meaningful insights and action plans is essential; and refactoring their environments to be “smart” requires world-class connectivity solutions that are easy to implement and manage.
Some industries, take utility distribution for example, are based on a 100-year old architecture and starting to deploy smart sensors to modernise their distribution capabilities.
Digital transformation and implementation of IoT in the utility vertical will then have a very different journey versus an automotive manufacturer building a brand new factory using cobotics, robotics, smart connections on the shop floor and in cars, etc. We are here to help across that spectrum.
What are some of your predictions for IoT in the coming year or two?
The most exciting part of this industry is what is yet to come as the innovation we are seeing right now is mind-blowing. I think there is fantastic ideation in places like tele-health and tele-medicine spurred by this pandemic, or micro-mobility for example as people change the way they live and travel.
There is also an amazing amount of innovation happening in the automotive space as vehicles become smarter and more connected and new data use cases are unlocked – the transition in that space is leaps and bounds right now and we are proud to support that ecosystem globally.
"I really look forward to seeing that market evolve in the next year or two."
As for our platform, we are growing much faster than the overall market so it is very exciting to be helping so many great Enterprises and working with amazing Service Provider partners around the world – the next year or two will see that continued market adoption and platform evolution which is super exciting to be a part of.
Verizon, Samsung complete 5G data session on C-band spectrum
U.S telecom Verizon, in partnership with Samsung Electronics, has completed a trial of a 5G data session over the C-band spectrum. The test was conducted in a live network environment using cloud-native, end-to-end virtualisation in preparation for Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband expansion.
Adam Koeppe, Senior Vice President of Technology Planning at Verizon, said: “We have been driving the industry to large-scale virtualisation using the advanced architecture we have built into our network from the core to the far edge. This recent accomplishment paves the way for a more programmable, efficient, and scalable 5G network. “Customers deserve more than mere access to 5G. They deserve 5G built with the highest, gold-standard engineering practices that have positioned Verizon as the most reliable industry leader for years.”
The importance of virtualisation in optimising 5G network performance
According to Samsung, Virtualisation plays a vital role in delivering advanced 5G network services. This is due to 5G use cases such as IoT solutions, more robust consumer devices and solutions, AR/VR, remote healthcare, autonomous robotics in manufacturing environments, and ubiquitous smart city solutions, becoming more dependant on the programmability of virtualised networks.
Pleased with the result of the trial, Junehee Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of R&D, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics, said: “We’re proud to mark another milestone following our first large-scale commercial 5G vRAN deployment for Verizon, which is currently servicing millions of users. This trial reinforces our commitment to helping operators evolve their advanced 5G networks.”
The trials used Samsung’s fully virtualized RAN (vRAN) solution built on its own software stack and C-band 64T64R Massive MIMO radio in coordination with Verizon’s virtualized core. “The trials achieved speeds commensurate with traditional hardware-based equipment,” the companies said.
Verizon claims that cloud-native, virtualised architecture provides greater flexibility aster delivery of services, greater scalability, and improved cost efficiency in networks”, allowing it to lead the way in network slicing and wide-scale mobile edge computing.
The technology also enables Verizon to respond quickly to customer’s latency and computing needs. Virtualisation aims to lower the entry barrier for new vendors in the ecosystem while entrants will be able to accelerate innovation and reduce operating costs, the companies said.
Verizon is planning to make the 5G C-band spectrum initially available to 46 markets by the first quarter of 2022, and provide the Ultra-Wideband service to 100mn people. Throughout the next two years, the company expects coverage to increase to 175mn people before reaching 250mn by the end of 2024.