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Disruption And Opportunity: 5G’s Impact On Counsel And The Commercial Litigation Community

The implementation of 5G will be the next major evolution in wireless communications, propelling the development of Internet of Things (IoT) and the infrastructure needed to sustain it. These innovations will likely lead to intense competition among new businesses and disrupt existing ones.

With communities and businesses around the world advancing toward adoption of 5G, IMS interviewed several respected experts and thought-leaders to examine the effects this new generation will have on commercial and patent litigation.

Dr. Ian Cullimore is an IMS Elite Expert with decades of experience in wireless technologies, dating back to the early days of connecting at 300 bits per second (bps). His time in high tech has given him a front row seat to the evolution of innovation. Cullimore observes, “Having been closely involved in mobile communications, I have seen the technology grow from analog to digital—for me mainly GSM, GPRS, 2G, 3G, 4G, and now 5G.”

5G, the next generation transforming wireless communications will herald greater download speeds surpassing that of broadband—allowing for real-time HD streaming on IoT devices. “IoT devices typically have low bandwidth requirements … It will be interesting to see how this evolves, and whether it gives any greater benefit in the end,” says Cullimore. “As for the litigation side of things … I’d recommend to law firms that they get up to speed on technologies and patents—and start to line up some experts.”

Cellular carriers, according to some experts, will encounter the greatest amount of disruption from 5G. “Carriers will gain increased capacity, and competitive pressures will cause rates to go down and data caps are likely to be relaxed,” says Stuart Lipoff, IMS Elite Expert and co-founder of IP Action Partners.

More ground-level, small cell sites will be needed to implement and sustain 5G; and carriers will need to contract with both the private and public sector. Cities and commercial real estate owners will want leasing payments based on traffic through their cell sites—making measuring and auditing an unavoidable issue. Lipoff continues, “5G will also allow for large numbers of unlicensed IoT for machine-to-machine communications— especially for smart home automation.” These IoT devices will be controlled via smart phone apps, and the service provided by cellular carriers.

As 5G adoption increases, Lipoff advises counsel and litigators to remember that IoT will be a collage of “many different manufactures and service providers interacting with each other across enterprise boundaries. So, when something goes wrong, it will be difficult to isolate blame by fault or failure isolation.”

In 2018, a handful of companies unveiled a limited city rollout of 5G. This year, 2019, will bring many more cities whirlwind speeds, instantaneous communication, and the incredible potential to network everything around us. By 2020, we can expect large, full-scale rollouts embracing the new generation of wireless technology.

As anticipation for this new generation of wireless tech grows, so will the need to secure your organization’s reputation and opportunities. 

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About this Author

Marie-Petra Adams IMS Expert Services Director of Corporate Relations & Strategic Partnerships
Director of Corporate Relations & Strategic Partnerships

With more than 25 years of business management experience, Marie-Petra Adams is the Director of Corporate Relations & Strategic Partnerships. As the former Director of Recruiting with a wide variety of training, recruiting, and customer service experience, Adams now uses her talents to lead IMS’ corporate counsel endeavors—working on numerous complex commercial high-stakes projects.

In addition to working at IMS, Adams is actively involved in several nonprofit organizations including Pensacola Cordova Rotary, Gulf Coast Kids House, Manna Food Pantries, and United Way.

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