Virtual CES2021 Kicks Off with Verizon CEO Talking About 5G

By 12 January 2021 No Comments

CES2021 got underway this Monday January 11–14, with 1960 exhibitors and 67,600 attendees. Not a bad turnout considering the entire electronics conference is virtual this year.

But those numbers are still a long ways off of last year’s 4400 exhibitors and 170,000 attendees trekking across three major Las Vegas convention venues.

This year—as in 2019—Verizon’s chairman and chief executive officer Hans Vestberg gave the opening keynote speech. Not surprisingly, the wireless, fiber-optic and global Internet networks executive spoke about 5G. Again.

“In 2020, one thing became very obvious, very quickly as COVID-19 began to spread around the world. We leapfrogged five to seven years in the digital revolution,” Vestberg said. “We knew it was coming but it was closer than we realized.”

5G is becoming a pivotal technology for a connected world. Verizon’s nationwide 5G network is now available to over 200 million people in 1800 cities and towns. Verizon’s premium network, its 5G Ultra Wideband, is in over 50 metropolitan areas.

Moreover, about 14.2 billion connected devices are now in play worldwide and that number is expected to grow to more than 55 billion 2025. Vestberg says his company’s 5G technology is ideally suited to handling exactly that kind of growth and connectivity for the rollout of innovative healthcare, green energy, and ongoing digital innovation.

He noted five points of difference between 5G and earlier cellular networks:

  1. 5G has an unparalleled upload and download speeds, with peak speeds that are 10 times faster than 4G—more than 4 Gigabytes under ideal conditions
  2. 5G provides enormous capacity and ultralow lag for a signal to get from point A to point B, “enabling a future where remote surgery will be possible”
  3. 5G can support more connected devices than ever before, up to 1 million per square kilometre
  4. 5G will be able to support mobile connections while travelling up to 500 km/h, “allowing you to maintain a signal even aboard a high speed vehicle”
  5. “5G Ultra Wideband will provide faster and more responsive service deployment and a new standard for energy efficiency and reliability”

Vestberg also noted that the power 5G is foundational and extends beyond speed.

“It’s a platform for us to build the future we want, that businesses want, the consumer applications that we desire, and the society that we believe in,” he said.

5G will enable backing computer processing out of expensive hardware and putting it in the cloud.

“It will give large enterprises the ability to operate in real time. But it will also make small phones and laptops more powerful than ever and give small businesses, startups, and consumers access to the same technology that until recently was only available to large companies and major research institutions. That’s a major advance for digital inclusivity,” Vestberg said.

Vestberg than talked about how 5G will revolutionize entertainment, education, and enable the development of smart cities.

“The impact of connected devices is going to be far-reaching and this is only to be possible thanks to 5G,” he said and gave the podium to the Black Pumas who wrapped up his presentation with three songs.


For more about 5G, its rollout in Canada, and its implication for the Canadian economy, please check out our growing collection of ICTC 5G reports.