Dell navigates fast-moving private 5G space with partnerships and edge solutions

Dell navigates fast-moving private 5G space with partnerships and edge solutions

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How fast is the private wireless space moving? Fast enough for a major tech player to announce a partnership with one company and then watch its new partner get acquired by a competitor 48 hours later.

That’s exactly what happened when Dell Technologies Inc. announced a partnership with Athonet Inc. on February 22. Before the week was done, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. had purchased the private 5G network provider for undisclosed terms.

“It’s an open ecosystem; there are a lot of good players in this space,” said John McCready (pictured, right), senior director of product management of 5G solutions at Dell, when asked about the partnership and subsequent acquisition. “We’ve got to be able to match the solution requirements of all our customers, and so we’ll continue to partner with them and with others.”

McCready spoke with theCUBE industry analysts Dave Vellante and David Nicholson at MWC 2023 during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. He was joined by Sarvesh Sharma (left), global director for the edge and private mobility solutions practice at Dell, and they discussed how the company was pursuing its long-term strategy in the telco space. (* Disclosure below.)

Aiming for the edge

The Athonet example points to how large tech firms are forming new alliances in the telco world to build capability in private 5G network delivery. Last month’s Athonet announcement from Dell, which included partnerships with PaaS provider Expeto and mobile equipment vendor Airspan, demonstrated the company’s interest in building telco-centric solutions that will facilitate enterprise needs at the edge.

“We have a big edge practice at Dell, so for this space around private 5G we’re teamed with our cohort in the edge business unit,” McCready said. “That requires storage, it requires compute, it requires other applications. There are players who are just focused on the connectivity, but our view is that’s not enough.”

McCready’s point highlights the picture that Dell and other large technology firms envision for a wireless world. A private network is one element, yet how this will drive overall business results is the true definer.

“What the enterprise wants is not just private mobility; they are looking for an outcome,” Sharma said. “You need someone who can integrate the infrastructure stack. But that’s not enough. You need someone who can bring the application stack into play and integrate with enterprise IT and OT. Dell is ideally suited to do all of this.”

Skyrocketing interest in private 5G is an outgrowth of the adoption curve for the wireless standard. As more enterprises configure networks to use 5G, it will drive demand. This growth is expected to start small, according to Sharma, but telecommunications providers need to prepare for the coming wave.

“Unless the factory decides to rip and replace everything with 5G, they are going to introduce a small use case,” Sharma said. “Once you bring use case numbers two, three, four and five, now it really starts to add value. How the communications service provider can acknowledge that and create commercial models is going to be key.”

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the MWC 2023 event:

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for MWC 2023. Neither Dell Technologies Inc., the primary sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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