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5G vs. Wi-Fi: Verizon says cellular will win

Verizon’s long-term strategy is to make mobile 5G a Wi-Fi killer. While analysts don’t see that happening this decade, it is technically possible for the next-generation wireless technology to drive Wi-Fi into obsolescence.

Ronan Dunne, CEO of Verizon Consumer Group, recently entered the ongoing 5G vs. Wi-Fi tech debate when he predicted the latter’s demise. Dunne said his company’s upcoming 5G service would eventually make high-speed internet connectivity ubiquitous for its customers.

“In the world of 5G millimeter wave deployment, we don’t see the need for Wi-Fi in the future,” Dunne told attendees at a Citigroup global technology conference in Las Vegas.

Today, the millimeter wave (MM wave) spectrum used to transmit 5G signals is often blocked by physical objects like buildings and trees, making service unreliable. Verizon believes its engineers can circumvent those limitations within 5 to 7 years, bringing 5G wireless broadband to its 150 million customers.

Most analysts agree that Wi-Fi will remain the preferred technology for indoor wireless networking through the current decade. Beyond that, it’s technically possible for 5G services to start eroding Wi-Fi’s market dominance, particularly as the number of 5G mobile and IoT devices rises over the next several years.

“If the CEO of a major cellular carrier says something, I will take that seriously,” said Craig Mathias, principal analyst at Farpoint Group. “He could be dead wrong over the long run, but, technically, it could work.”

As an alternative to Wi-Fi, Verizon could offer small mobile base stations, such as specially designed picocells and femtocells, to carry 5G signals from the office and home to the carrier’s small cell base stations placed on buildings, lampposts or poles. The small cells would send traffic to the carriers’ core network.

Early uses for 5G

Initially, 5G could become a better option for specific uses. Examples include sports stadiums that have an atypically high number of mobile devices accessing the internet at the same time. That type of situation requires a massive expenditure in Wi-Fi gear and software that could prove more expensive than 5G technology, said Brandon Butler, an analyst at IDC.

Another better-than-Wi-Fi use for 5G would be in a manufacturing facility. Those locations often have machinery that needs an ultra-low latency connection in an area where a radio signal is up against considerable interference, Butler said.

Nevertheless, Butler stops short of predicting a 5G-only world, advising enterprises to plan for a hybrid world instead. They should look to Wi-Fi and 5G as the best indoor and outdoor technology, respectively.

“The real takeaway point here is that enterprises should plan for a hybrid world into the future,” Butler said.

Ultimately, how far 5G goes in replacing Wi-Fi will depend on whether the expense of switching is justified by reducing overall costs and receiving unique services. To displace Wi-Fi, 5G will have to do much more than match its speed.

“It’ll come down to cost and economics, and the cost and economics do not work when the performance is similar,” said Rajesh Ghai, an analyst at IDC.

Today, Wi-Fi provides a relatively easy upgrade path. That’s because, collectively, businesses have already spent billions of dollars over the years on Wi-Fi access points, routers, security and management tools. They have also hired the IT staff to operate the system.

Verizon 5G Home

While stressing the importance of mobile 5G vs. Wi-Fi, Dunne lowered expectations for the fixed wireless 5G service for the home that the carrier launched in 2018. Verizon expected it’s 5G Home service to eventually compete with the TV and internet services provided by cable companies.

Today, 5G Home, which is available in parts of five metropolitan markets, has taken a backseat to Verizon’s mobile 5G buildout. “It’s very much a mobility strategy with a secondary product of home,” Dunne said.

Ghai of IDC was not surprised that Verizon would lower expectations for 5G Home. Delivering the service nationwide would have required spending vast amounts of money to blanket neighborhoods with small cells.

Verizon likely didn’t see enough interest for 5G Home among consumers to justify the cost, Ghai said. “It probably hasn’t lived up to the promise.”

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Decision-makers may prefer Wi-Fi over 5G in retail networks

While fifth-generation wireless has taken the technology world by storm, many retailers don’t see a need to heed the hype.

Several use cases may glean immediate 5G benefits, yet 5G in retail is superfluous for now. Although 5G can support retail networks that require advanced capabilities, such as virtual reality, the retail world won’t depend on 5G because other wireless technologies are still efficient, according to a recent Forrester Research report. The report “The CIO’s Guide To 5G In The Retail Sector” explored particular retail use cases, and report author and principal analyst Dan Bieler discussed key differences between retail and other 5G use cases.

“Retailers are quite sophisticated in their existing technology understanding,” Bieler said. “They have achieved some great solutions with existing technologies, and they will not risk upsetting everything in the short term where they don’t see a clear [ROI] for making additional network infrastructure investments in 5G.”

Dan BielerDan Bieler

Retailers are interested in 5G for their networks, Bieler said, yet few have implemented or deployed 5G so far. Some retailers may seek out 5G as a replacement for existing MPLS connectivity, but this choice depends on pricing models and business requirements. Overall, IT decision-makers may prefer Wi-Fi over 5G in retail networks because not all retailers require the advanced capabilities 5G networks offer, he added.

5G in retail lacks transformative qualities largely because cellular technologies weren’t developed for indoor network coverage, and physical objects indoors can impede 5G’s millimeter wave frequencies and its line-of-sight travel capabilities.

The advent of Wi-Fi 6, or 802.11ax, may interest retailers more than 5G, as Wi-Fi historically supports more indoor use cases and networks than cellular technologies. Both Wi-Fi 6 and 5G offer similar capabilities, which makes them competitors in some use cases and complementary in others. For exclusively indoor retail environments, IT decision-makers may not see a need for 5G networks, Bieler said.

“[Retailers] can do a lot with the technologies that we have today,” he said. “5G will be a continuum rather than a completely revolutionary new technology for them.”

5G benefits
Aside from 5G in retail, the new generation of cellular technology has several benefits for all types of organizations.

Another issue retailers could face regarding 5G is customer apprehension. Despite 5G’s various new capabilities, customers don’t necessarily care about technological innovations and won’t alter their shopping habits because of 5G. However, customers in younger age groups may be more willing to adapt to the capabilities 5G enables, so organizations should focus more on how to win over older age groups, the report said.

Benefits of 5G in retail use cases, networks

Despite the efficiency of other wireless technologies, the report noted three main areas where 5G in retail can benefit business operations, including the following:

  1. Back-end operations, where organizations can handle work the customers don’t see, such as tracking and monitoring inventory within warehouses.
  2. Front-end operations, which are customer-facing operations and deal with tracking and monitoring products and people within stores.
  3. Finance operations, where the store can remotely track and monitor a customer’s product or service usage and charge them accordingly.

As 5G rolls out throughout the 2020s, more features and potential benefits for organizations will arise, such as network slicing and mobile edge computing. These capabilities can help organizations create experiences tailored specifically to individual customers.

“5G allows the retailer to track many more items and many more sensors in a store than previous cellular technologies, so they can have a much more granular picture of what retail customers are looking at, where they are going and what they are doing with products in the store,” Bieler said.

Other benefits the report cited include cost-efficient store connectivity, enhanced customer insights and improved transparency within supply chains. Organizations won’t glean these benefits for several years, Bieler said, as carriers will deploy new 5G features in stages.

However, decision-makers can prepare to deploy 5G in retail use cases by focusing closely on network design and determining whether 5G is the right choice for their operations. To evaluate this, organizations can assess their indoor connectivity environments and gauge how a 5G deployment could affect the business sectors in which the store or organization requires 5G access.

Overall, 5G has various benefits for retail use cases, the report said, but these benefits are not universal. Businesses need to look closely at their network infrastructures and business requirements to evaluate 5G’s potential effect on their operations. Regardless, Bieler said he was sure deployments of 5G in retail will eventually become common.

“[Retailers] will still adopt it over time because 5G will provide super-fast broadband connectivity,” Bieler said. “It opens up your business model opportunities in an easier way. So, over time, retailers will definitely embrace it, but not tomorrow.”

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For Sale – LG 34WK95U 34″ 5120X2160 HDR600 Monitor – nearly new & Asus PG279Q

Bought this a while ago for work and photo editing, but don’t need it.

Hasn’t been used much at all.

All in perfect condition, with original box.

Collection preferred, but could be shipped.

£780

WD HDDs now sold

Asus PG279Q

Well used, good condition (should have wiped before picture, but it will come clean), no box, collection only.

£400

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NLP, embedded BI and data literacy top 2020 analytics trends

While 2019 in business intelligence was marked by consolidation and the incremental improvement of augmented intelligence capabilities, 2020 analytics trends are expected to include increased adaptation of embedded BI and a rising level of data literacy across organizations.

The continued improvement of AI features, of course, will also be one of the 2020 analytics trends to watch.

“There’s still no generalized AI, but we’re starting to see it,” said Donald Farmer, principal at TreeHive Strategy. “It was so overhyped, but now we’re seeing generally intelligent assistants.”

Natural language processing

If there’s one AI feature that may become pervasive, it’s natural language processing (NLP).

“There’s a lot of buzz around NLP in BI platforms,” said Mike Leone, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “While it exists today, it’s still in its infancy. I think as the younger workforce continues to fill data-centric roles in organizations, there will be a growing desire to use voice technology. And I say ‘younger’ simply because that demographic is arguably the most adept at relying on voice technology in their everyday lives and will look for ways to use it to boost productivity at work too.”

By translating a vocal query into an SQL query, NLP will allow users to simply speak a data query and receive a vocal response.

It has the potential to significantly simplify data queries, lessening the need for a background in data science and opening data exploration to a wider range of business users.

But barriers still stand between the ideal of NLP and its reality, limited by the level of its machine learning capabilities.

Computers understand highly specific, unambiguous commands — code. They don’t understand human speech, and even when programmed to do so they can’t adjust for variations such as accents or imperfect syntax. Nevertheless, NLP features are appearing, and are expected to become more prominent as 2020 progresses.

Tableau, for example, introduced Ask Data in early 2019 and updated the tool in its November release. ThoughtSpot, meanwhile, unveiled SearchIQ in the fall of 2018. And Qlik acquired CrunchBot in early 2019 to add conversational capabilities.

“Natural language processing has been a trend the last few years, but now it’s reaching critical mass,” Farmer said.

Embedded BI

Another significant 2020 analytics trends is expected to be the expansion of embedded BI.

Eventually, analytics won’t be conducted on a standalone platform — it will be part of other commonplace business applications.

Instead of running reports — asking a data-driven question, sifting through stored data to come up with the relevant information to address the question, cleaning and preparing the data and ultimately creating a visualization based on the relevant information on a BI platform — business users will have key information delivered without ever having to ask for it, and without having to go through an IT department.

Next-generation architecture will tap data in applications, which will make getting real-time information easier. That will change the analytical paradigm.
Dan SommerGlobal market intelligence lead, Qlik

“Next-generation architecture will tap data in applications, which will make getting real-time information easier,” said Dan Sommer, global market intelligence lead at Qlik. “That will change the analytical paradigm. It was about reports once, and increasingly it will be about embedded — insights will come to you in your moment. It will make insights more consumerized — not from IT or developers. Now it will be everyone.”

Similarly, Doug Henschen, analyst at Constellation Research, pointed to embedded BI as a 2020 analytics trends to watch.

“There’s an increasingly popular saying that ‘every company is now a software company,’ but that’s an intentional overstatement pointing to what’s really a leading-edge trend,” he said.

Organizations — innovators and fast-followers — are making use of their data and finding ways to both enrich and monetize that data, he continued.

“A key enabler is embedded BI and analytics platforms that accelerate the development and delivery of data-driven and insight-driven software and services,” Henschen said. “These embedded platforms have been used primarily by independent software and services vendors to date. This more mainstream embrace of embedding is just getting started, and I think we’ll see more of it in 2020 and beyond.”

Data literacy

One more analytics 2020 analytics trend to watch — beyond such known entities as continued migration to the cloud — is the effort to make more of the workforce data literate.

Data literacy — the ability to derive insight from data — has been expanding beyond the realm of data scientists, but it still remains the domain of a minority within most organizations rather than the majority of employees.

“Data literacy as a service [will be a 2020 analytics trend],” Sommer said. “Data literacy is the ability to read, argue and use data, and data literacy has to happen for us to move into the digital stage. Organizations will realize they need help with this.”

Now, in an attempt to increase data literacy, a group of BI vendors are doing more than merely selling their software platforms. They’re also training line-of-business workers in the language of data.

In May of 2019, Qlik, whose research showed only 24% of employees were confident in their ability to effectively utilize data, began offering a free data literacy certification program. The previous October, Tableau, which offers free data literacy training videos, introduced a certification exam for beginners looking to improve their BI skills. And in September, IBM revealed that it certified 140 new data scientists after developing a data scientist certification program in partnership with The Open Group.

Alteryx, meanwhile, operates the Alteryx for Good program, which partners with colleges and universities — Stanford, the University of California Berkeley, the University of Michigan and Harvard among them — to incorporate data science and analytics into their curriculum.

“I think we’ll see a continued emphasis on enabling the desired visibility [of data],” Leone said, “and enablement of more personas to access data and derive insights.”

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For Sale – LG 34WK95U 34″ 5120X2160 HDR600 Monitor – nearly new & Asus PG279Q

Bought this a while ago for work and photo editing, but don’t need it.

Hasn’t been used much at all.

All in perfect condition, with original box.

Collection preferred, but could be shipped.

£780

WD HDDs now sold

Asus PG279Q

Well used, good condition (should have wiped before picture, but it will come clean), no box, collection only.

£400

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For Sale – 32GB DDR3 / Itx bundle

Had these sitting in a drawer for a while now (circa 2 – 3 months) but never got round to using them. They are still retail sealed and obviously I will honour against DOA plus help with any warranty requirements.

Full details here:

4x8GB Sealed kits, totalling 32GB.

Asking £70 inc

——————————————————–

Itx bundle:

1x Socket 1150 ECS H81H3-TI2 (1.0) Thin ITX motherboard
1x Pentium G3258 anniversary edition cpu
1x Stock Intel Fan / Heatsink
1x 4GB DDR3 Ram Stick
1x Sealed i/o shield
1x sata power breakout cable
1x pcie wifi card
1x HP PSU brick
Win 10 pro 64bit license tied to mobo

Motherboard specs:

Asking £60 inc
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For Sale – LG 34WK95U 34″ 5120X2160 HDR600 Monitor – nearly new & 5x brand new WD DC 12TB drives

Bought this a while ago for work and photo editing, but don’t need it.

Hasn’t been used much at all.

All in perfect condition, with original box.

Collection preferred, but could be shipped.

£800

Was building a NAS for my friend, but he’s changed his mind & these are no longer needed.

Still sealed in original packaging.

£250 each including delivery, I’ll offer a discount for multiple drives.

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For Sale – Powercolor R9 295 x2, DDR3 Ram & various older Bits

Hi,
Its been a while & im having a clear out. All of the below parts are for sale to fund a new up to date GPU.

The below parts were in my system untill last week when i upgraded to a i7 9900k package and are all working 100%. The ram modules were ran together to give 12gb of ram at stock settings. The GPU is still in my system but if i get a sale i can run my monitor off the Mobo/ CPU.

  • i7 2600k CPU £45 + Postage SOLD TO URL
  • Gigabyte Z68X-UD3P-B3 Inc, OI shield stickers box manuals etc £40 + Postage SOLD TO KINNSY
  • Corsair 2x 2GB DDR3 Ram £10 + Postage
  • Exceleram 2 x 4GB DDR3 Ram £20 + Postage SOLD TO KINNSY
  • Powercolor Radeon R9 295 x2 Watercooled £260 + Postage
    (Still in my system but available for immediate despatch.) This GPU Is very long and as you can see barely fits in my case. it also requires 2, 8 pin power connections with 28amps each as per warning in the box.
  • Dell optiplex Computer with extra ram 5gb ram and gigabyte R4650 gpu, 250gb WD HDD £25 + Postage

The following parts are sold as untested however i dont have any reason to believe they would not work. Prices have been adjusted accordingly and a bundle deal would be availabe.

  • BFG 8800 GTS OC £5 + Postage
  • Palit 9800GT £7 + Postage
  • Cooler Master RS 460 PCAP A3 460W PSU £10 + Postage
  • Seagate Pipeline HD.2 500GB £7 + Postage
  • WD 320 GB HDD £5 + Postage

Prices are a guestimate based on Ebay and Google. Offers accepted.

Any questions let me know

Thanks

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For Sale – i7 2600k, R9 295 x2, DDR3 Ram, 8800gts oc, 9800gt, coolermaster PSU, Gigabyte Mobo, HDD’s etc

Hi,
Its been a while & im having a clear out. All of the below parts are for sale to fund a new up to date GPU.

The below parts were in my system untill last week when i upgraded to a i7 9900k package and are all working 100%. The ram modules were ran together to give 12gb of ram at stock settings. The GPU is still in my system but if i get a sale i can run my monitor off the Mobo/ CPU.

  • i7 2600k CPU £45 + Postage SOLD TO URL
  • Gigabyte Z68X-UD3P-B3 Inc, OI shield stickers box manuals etc £40 + Postage SOLD TO KINNSY
  • Corsair 2x 2GB DDR3 Ram £10 + Postage
  • Exceleram 2 x 4GB DDR3 Ram £20 + Postage SOLD TO KINNSY
  • Powercolor Radeon R9 295 x2 Watercooled £260 + Postage
    (Still in my system but available for immediate despatch.) This GPU Is very long and as you can see barely fits in my case. it also requires 2, 8 pin power connections with 28amps each as per warning in the box.
  • Dell optiplex Computer with extra ram 5gb ram and gigabyte R4650 gpu, 250gb WD HDD £25 + Postage

The following parts are sold as untested however i dont have any reason to believe they would not work. Prices have been adjusted accordingly and a bundle deal would be availabe.

  • BFG 8800 GTS OC £5 + Postage
  • Palit 9800GT £7 + Postage
  • Cooler Master RS 460 PCAP A3 460W PSU £10 + Postage
  • Seagate Pipeline HD.2 500GB £7 + Postage
  • WD 320 GB HDD £5 + Postage

Prices are a guestimate based on Ebay and Google. Offers accepted.

Any questions let me know

Thanks

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For Sale – SOLD SOLD Desktop PC. Intel 7600k CPU, Asus Z270 Prime Motherboard, 24GB DDR4 RAM. 250GB SSD, Windows 10 Pro in Coolermaster HAF XB Case SOLD SOLD

Bought this here a while ago but never really used it. I added a 250gb NVME SSD and a better case. Runs very fast and quiet. For Sale – Intel 7600K, Z270 Full System £250 CPU 7600k I think the cooler is called deep Freeze or something like this Asus Prime Z270 Antec Modular 750w Power supply…

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