LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS AMERICAS 2018: Verizon Wireless president Ronan Dunne hailed 5G as a transformational technology in his keynote this morning (13 September), calling for a coalition of public and private partnerships to extend its reach as far as possible.

The US operator stole headlines this week by announcing plans to launch the first 5G network in the US, due for activation in four US cities on 1 October (albeit the service will be a fixed wireless access product, not mobile, based on Verizon’s own proprietary 5G standard).

Customers were able to register from early this morning and Dunne noted the service’s website had already experienced 100,000 hits in the first couple of hours.

“5G is an enabler,” Dunne proclaimed. “It will enable artificial intelligence, deep, deep analytics, the ability to have ubiquitous connectivity. Every schoolchild in the country can have access to the best teaching.”

Dunne also cited the home as one area where consumers will enjoy wireless connectivity “at a level they’ve never experienced.” And in healthcare, Dunne believes the impact could be “so pervasive.”

Key to success, warned Dunne, will be ensuring the mobile sector works with all manner of industries.

“We need to make sure we create the conditions, work with civil societies, governments and local authorities. Democratising access to 5G is an essential ingredient in that…We need to build a coalition of public and private partnerships…It’s about ensuring all boats rise on a 5G tide.”

New jobs
Despite concern that automation and the rise of intelligent machines could threaten jobs, Dunne believes 5G will have the opposite effect.

“5G will increase employment, it will offer new opportunities. Think of this as another renaissance…The new jobs will be created by access to new information. It’s liberating the creative in every single one of us. There’s going to be a new set of creative garages driven and powered by 5G.”