AT&T sheds light on its 5G strategy

Business Insider Finance 4 months ago

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AT&T plans on investing in technology to launch a commercial 5G network by 2021, AT&T executive Brian Daly said during the 5G North America trade show this week.

AT&T will team with Qualcomm and Ericsson to conduct residential tests of mobile and fixed 5G services in the second half of 2017. This will include testing the feasibility of streaming DirecTV Now — AT&T’s over-the-top video streaming service — over fixed 5G connections.

AT&T’s updates come as the wireless industry races to be the first to deploy 5G networks in the US. Verizon, the leading US mobile operator, recently outbid AT&T to acquire Straight Path Communications, which could provide Verizon’s foundation for a 5G network. Additionally, T-Mobile recently purchased a large swath of low-band spectrum during the spectrum auction, which it intends to deploy 5G on. Telecoms will continue to push the envelope in terms of 5G developments as they vie for a first-mover advantage.

That’s because the first to deploy could have more influence on setting 5G industry standards as well as first picks for future 5G tech partnerships.

Cloud computing — on-demand, internet-based computing services — has been successfully applied to many computing functions in recent years.

From consumer-facing, web-based productivity apps like Google Docs to enterprise database management suites, the tools businesses rely on are increasingly moving to the cloud.

But developing a cloud strategy is no easy task. Public cloud solutions will likely come to dominate the market over the next decade, but business constraints, such as security concerns and the limitations of existing infrastructure, make it difficult for companies to fully adopt the public cloud right now.

That means that hybrid clouds, in which multiple cloud implementations (including public and private) are connected, will remain popular for the time being, at least until these constraints are addressed. The tech giants that dominate the IaaS market — Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, and Google — are constantly expanding their offerings to address current business constraints as they compete for market share.

Christina Anzalone, senior research analyst at BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on cloud computing that evaluates the current business considerations for the various cloud solutions and provides an outlook on the state of the market.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report: 

  • Cloud computing solutions have gained traction because they're flexible and cost efficient. Sixty-seven percent of companies used an Infrastructure-as-a-Service solution in 2015, like the cloud, for some part of their business, up 19% from the prior year.
  • All cloud solutions provide certain benefits that are becoming increasingly essential to businesses in the digital age. These include on-demand self-service, rapid elasticity, and broad network access, among others.
  • Security needs, demand predictability, existing infrastructure, and maintenance capabilities are key business considerations for enterprises choosing between cloud implementations.
  • While hybrid cloud strategies will remain popular in the near term, the market is likely to shift toward the public cloud over time. That's because costs are falling, providers are developing solutions that address main concerns with the public cloud, and business practices like agile development and data analytics are dependent on advantages the public cloud provides. However, industries that handle sensitive information, like financial services and healthcare, will likely prefer hybrid and private cloud strategies given regulatory restrictions.
  • Amazon Web Services is the dominant cloud computing provider by market share, followed by Google, IBM, and Microsoft. Because the latter three companies have had little success taking on Amazon, market-share gains are likely to come at the expense of smaller competitors.

In full, the report:

  • Explains the different cloud computing strategies and benefits of cloud computing.
  • Evaluates key business considerations – security needs, demand predictability, existing infrastructure, and maintenance capabilities – for enterprises choosing between cloud implementations.
  • Provides and outlook for trends and major players in the cloud computing market.

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