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5G Evolution Will Change Channel Business, Says Solution Provider

‘5G will be the fabric for connectivity around the world,’ says Phillip Walker, customer advocate leader for Network Solutions Provider, during his session at Xchange 2019.

5G is a next-generation technology that might be worth the hype, that is, if the channel can understand its strengths and "pick their spots," said Phillip Walker, customer advocate leader at Network Solutions Provider.

"The ability to have wireless as an option has not happened in our lifetime. 5G is going to be one of those things that's an enabler of technology, so if it's not something you're looking at, you should be," Walker of Network Solutions Provider said, a Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based channel partner that specializes in networking and telecom services.

5G marks the beginning of an evolution because it's helping to move everything in the world to be connected for the first time. But as 5G changes the landscape, the way solution providers do business is going to rapidly change as well.

"5G will be the fabric for connectivity around the world, and it will fuel a new economy," Walker told an audience of solution providers at The Channel Company's Xchange 2019 conference on Tuesday.

[Related: Next-Gen MSPs Must Master Problem-Solving]

Walker broke down the five things that 5G will have that 4G did not for partners, including latency, speed, coverage, capacity, and density. These game-changing themes will allow partners to grow their own businesses, he said. Walker also highlighted the key applications that the next-gen mobile technology will enable, such as healthcare, farming, and autonomous driving.

In addition to the IoT applications that will benefit from the faster speeds, lower latency, and higher capacity that 5G promises, the next-gen technology will also help close the gaps that broadband hasn't been able to reach, like bringing connectivity to rural and remote areas across the country, he said.

"There's still a big subset out there that are not being serviced, that 5G will either help, or completely take over for broadband," Walker said.

Donald Papa, owner of ADP Micro, a Glenside, Pa.-based MSP that specializes in IT and telecom services, said that his customers have been asking about 5G, even though it's still unclear to them what exactly the technology is and what it will help them accomplish.

While 5G still has a long way to go until it’s ready to be deployed by businesses, the early adopters will most likely be government customers with public safety initiatives, Papa said.

5G will also help to power IoT use cases, but many cost-conscious customers won't be ready to jump in right away, he said.

Still, Papa and his team are evaluating 5G as part of a mobility solution for customers down the road, especially for helping with automation. The technology, he said, "is going to explode." 

When 5G is ready for primetime, solution providers should start by evaluating how 5G will help rev up their IoT deployments, Walker said.

"Do your research, follow the vendors to understand how 5G will effect you, and start having conversations now so you can pick your spots."

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