Dell's CTO on building broadband and private 5G networks

John Roese, the global CTO at Dell Technologies, said the influx of federal funding to help alleviate the digital divide should be used to solve broadband coverage gaps as efficiently as possible. He said that those efforts could be hampered if federal and state agencies let legacy networking requirements limit the number of potential technology suppliers. 


For new broadband builds, Roese said, a new 5G standalone network is a great solution and could be provided by a wide range of companies: Dell (of course), Amazon, Microsoft and Google, plus the traditional telecom providers.


"There's no reason to have 4G, 3G, 2G – there's no reason to have a voice service on it," Roese said. "And yet, our general tendency is, every time we talk about broadband, we talk about all generations of broadband, all the legacy, all possible permutations," Roese said.


There are plenty of cases where 3G or 4G or fiber would be required, but some new unserved or underserved areas "might actually look like legacy-free environments," Roese said. "They might start with no technical debt, no legacy hangover, and we have to be just very deliberate about what problem we are solving."


You can download an unedited transcript of the podcast here. If you want to skip around and listen, here are a few more things covered in this interview:


  • Do enterprises see the need for private 5G? (09:30)
  • What is the competitive dynamic between cloud providers, telcos and others working to build private 5G networks? (13:50)
  • How Dell views the edge and why it's a big growth area. (17:14)
  • Keeping edge workloads separate from edge infrastructure. (23:39)

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