Michael Dell, CEO and Chairman at Dell Technologies


Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, is right around the corner and 5G is going to be the talk of the show. You hear about 5G almost every day. But what does it really mean? We had GPRS and 3G and then 4G, and they’ve been great, but did they change our lives like we were promised? Each in the moment may have felt more like incremental improvement. They made what we were already doing easier. However, cumulatively, over time, the additional speed and bandwidth has been truly revolutionary, touching every aspect of our lives from how we shop to how we travel, entertain and interact.

5G represents the next step-change improvement – moving to real-time, immersive, “always on” services. Combined with ubiquitous computing power, advanced analytics like AI and ML and cutting-edge automation to manage the explosion of connected devices and data -- 5G is the missing component to unleash the power of all that data. I mean 5G isn’t so you can talk faster, it’s so all those applications, machines and devices out at the edge can talk to each other. 

The complete 5G network may be years away, but some early versions are already being rolled out. It will help enable Digital Cities with connected vehicles, streetlights and traffic signals. Even things like smart trash cans which Seoul has already implemented with real-time monitoring to cut their waste collection costs by 83 per cent. Recently in the UK, a 5G industrial trial has begun to take a step toward the creation of smart factories. And in America, a study has launched that intends to combine 5G with virtual reality and augmented reality to test if it can help reduce chronic pain and anxiety for certain hospice patients.

5G is not simply an evolution from 4G. 5G empowers massive progress. This once-in-a-decade transformation of the mobile platform will manifest itself progress along 4 main vectors:

  • Digital Transformation – monetisation of data analytics and artificial intelligence.
  • IT Transformation – modernising infrastructure to support automated processes.
  • Workforce Transformation – providing the tools and skills for operations to take advantage of the new infrastructure capabilities.
  • Security Transformation – integrating natively into all services and processes, rather than as an overlay

At the core of just about every 5G business case is the need to transport, aggregate, process and react to massive amounts of data, requiring organisations to reimagine technology infrastructure. However, they must also reimagine themselves - not just implement incremental change. Just digitising the old way of doing things is not enough. 5G is the opportunity to envision different methods, models, products and services for the digital age.


So, yes, 5G will mean that one day soon you will be able to download a 4K feature film to your phone in just eight seconds – but it will also completely transform the entire entertainment industry from production to distribution.

So go ahead and order the large popcorn, with butter, because the 5G transformation show is just getting started.