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Coronavirus Will Test WiFi Networks, Make 5G More Popular

Shane Clemons
Global Team Leader, Platforms & Applications
Verizon

 
Mary Jane Horne
Mary Jane Horne
Senior VP, Global Network Services
INAP

 
David McCall
David McCall
VP, Innovation
QTS

 
Parminder Singh
Parminder Singh
Leader, Enterprise Infrastructure Architecture
Cox Communications

 
Jeff Wabik
Jeff Wabik
Chief Strategy & Connectivity Officer,
DC BLOX

 
Jim Marsh
Moderator
Jim Marsh
VP, Critical Infrastructure Solutions
CPG
Cox Communications enterprise infrastructure architecture leader Parminder Singh, Verizon global team leader Shane Clemons, QTS Vice President David McCall and DC BLOX chief strategy and connectivity officer Jeff Wabik.

The coronavirus outbreak may be a good thing for the demand of 5G internet in major cities as more companies require employees to work from home.

As the pandemic spreads even further, internet and WiFi systems will be truly tested by a spike in demand from millions of people working remotely. That could be the demonstration the much-vaunted 5G needs to prove its worth, QTS Vice President David McCall said during Bisnow's data center conference last week.

“I think it's an unbelievable opportunity,” McCall said. “I think it's going to change the world.”

While it is being rolled out by the major telecommunication companies, 5G is still limited in where it is offered to both consumers and businesses. As more people work from home and more schools close down over fears of the coronavirus, current internet systems will be tested, especially in communities that are served by lower bandwidth cable and copper-wire connections, given that 70% of bandwidth is gobbled up by streaming and social media sites like YouTube, Netflix and Skype.

“The weak link in the chain, where the system could get overloaded, is going to be the home broadband network,” Gartner Research Vice President Lisa Pierce told Fortune. “People will hit congestion, just like a highway, where the speed goes from 60 miles an hour to 20.”

Tyler Alexander
Principal
RedBird Capital Partners

 
Mario Calderone
Mario Calderone
VP, Real Estate
ServerFarm

 
Justin Kline
Justin Kline
VP, Portfolio Development
Legacy Investing

 
Terry Rennaker
Terry Rennaker
VP, Development - Hyperscale
Equinix

 
David Spiewak
David Spiewak
Managing Principal
Next Tier HD / DJS Group

 
Ryan Sullivan
Ryan Sullivan
Senior VP, Digital Infrastructure
Landmark Dividend

 
Madison Williams
Madison Williams
Executive VP, Finance
QTS

 
Miles Loo, Jr.
Moderator
Miles Loo, Jr.
Executive VP & Global Lead, Valuation & Advisory
Newmark Knight Frank
RedBird Capital Partners principal Tyler Alexander, ServerFarm Vice President Mario Calderone, Next Tier HD Managing Principal David Spiewak, Legacy Investing Vice President Justin Kline, Landmark Dividend Senior Vice President Ryan Sullivan and QTS Executive Vice President Madison Williams discuss how Atlanta's data center industry is still struggling to attract hyperscalers.

Despite the gradual rollout, many panelists at Bisnow's event were bullish on the potential for 5G.

“I think both 5G and 10G are going to play a vital role in the advancement of our economy,” Cox Communications Leader Parminder Singh said. “I believe that, [for] both the public and private sectors, the advancement of these technologies are important for the economy.”

Verizon also is focused on delivering 5G to consumers and is aiming to bring it into homes without the use of physical connections, global team leader Shane Clemons said.

Patrick Barnett
Head of Strategic Alliances, GSI GTM - Google Cloud
Google

 
Wes Jensen
Wes Jensen
Director, Technology Innovation & Strategy
Digital Realty Trust

 
Jim Lipps
Jim Lipps
VP, Solutions Architects
Cyxtera Technologies

 
Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith
CRO
Ntirety

 
Mohammad Zahid
Mohammad Zahid
Global Head of IT Infrastructure
Exide Technologies

 
Sohail Zakaria
Sohail Zakaria
Azure Global Black Belt, Intelligent Cloud - Americas
Microsoft

 
Bill Winsininski
Moderator
Bill Winsininski
Co-Founder & CEO
Cofluence
Cofluence CEO Bill Winsininski, Exide Technologies global head of IT infrastructure Mohammad Zahid, Digital Realty Trust Director Wes Jensen and Ntirety CRO Kevin Smith.

As more cities strive to become smart cities — having infrastructure connected to the internet — latency will become more of an issue, and that will propel 5G's popularity, Digital Reality Trust Director Wes Jensen said. It will also put cloud computing and data storage front and center in importance as a way to deter data from being delayed in its delivery between points.

“So high-latency produces congestion when you're sending a ton of data,” Jensen said.

Peter Berry
Senior VP, AOD Operations & Cyber Security
ACI Worldwide

 
Al Edwards
Al Edwards
VP, Technology & Infrastructure Operations
Cryptocurrency Expert

 
Andy Green
Andy Green
VP, Global Infrastructure & IT Operations
PRGX

 
Timothy Stanley
Timothy Stanley
CTO
Sunny River Management

 
Tim Huffman
Moderator
Tim Huffman
Executive VP & Director, Data Center Solutions
CBRE​​
CBRE Executive Vice President Tim Huffman, Cryptocurrency Expert Vice President Al Edwards, ACI Worldwide Senior Vice President Peter Berry and PRGX Vice President Andy Green.

DC Blox Chief Strategy and Connectivity Officer Jeff Wabik said latency is a paramount issue for his company, to the point that he said he physically walks the path of the fiber to ensure that nothing is blocking the wires that would delay data by milliseconds.

“You never really know where your packet is going to go to get from point A to point B. I need to know how many inches of fiber there is between point A and point B,” Wabik said. "If you don't know where the photons go because you don't know where the fiber goes, you could be in for a rude awakening."