March 11, 2019
Microsoft sees the primary business benefit of 5G for telcos as obvious -- so obvious, it's often overlooked, says Rick Lievano, Microsoft worldwide director of industry technology strategy. And that application will be key to turning Microsoft into a strategic vendor for telco cloudification, he says.
"We think the killer app for 5G is staring telcos in the face," Lievano tells Light Reading. The killer app for 5G is simple connectivity -- pervasive and always-on.
"5G will become the air that we breathe. Connectivity will be pervasive," Lievano says. "When you click that machine on, connectivity should be present, whether you're at home, or in the office, or at your local Starbucks. You shouldn't have to fumble along and find the WiFi hotspot. It should be there."
According to Lievano, enterprises will invest in 5G rather than building out and maintaining WiFi networks. And 5G will also potentially replace copper.
"We call this vision 'always connected,'" Lievano says. "It is going to drive an immense amount of growth in revenue for our operator partners."
We talked with Lievano at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in late February, where Microsoft had a medium-sized booth, after being absent the previous year -- a sign, Lievano notes, that Microsoft is stepping up its commitment to operators.
Microsoft also chose Mobile World Congress as the stage from which to announce the second generation of its HoloLens augmented reality headset for industrial and business applications, in a presentation featuring CEO Satya Nadella.
Figure 1: Microsoft's Rick Lievano at Microsoft Ignite conference in September.
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