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5G expansion is coming, but where will operators reap profits?

In this recap of industry blogs, networking pundits examine the profit potential of 5G expansion, responsible use of AI and some top network security developments.

As expected, this year's Mobile World Congress was all about 5G and the effect 5G expansion is predicted to make on the networking industry.

But CIMI Corp. president Tom Nolle said network operators would be better served if they didn't focus solely on the advent of the technology itself as a transformative agent. Instead, they should examine what they can do to increase profits once 5G is a reality.

Concentrating on cost management or revenue growth as profit generators are certainly factors to consider with 5G expansion, but Nolle argued that both these approaches have issues. Where operators do have leverage, he said, is the service edge, where they can use their central offices and mobile sites to their full advantage. Nolle estimated operators have more than 200,000 sites worldwide where they install edge computing devices and deliver profit-making services, like streaming video and ad caching.

"We're looking at the future as a technology race, and it's really a profit race," Nolle said. "Nobody is going to spend much on 5G or anything else if it doesn't generate a respectable ROI. The future is what we're able to pay for."

Read what else Nolle had to say about 5G expansion and the financial fortunes of network operators.

The perils and ethics of AI

GlobalData analyst Brad Shimmin evaluated the ethical state of AI, and, well, let's just say there's still much work to be done. It's time for an "enforceable code of ethics that includes all ecosystem participants," he said, citing Facebook, Google, Microsoft and others for violating users' privacy through the use of AI-anchored tools and features.

The concept of responsible AI is one all vendors say they embrace, Shimmin said, but it's a goal that's impossible to fulfill.

"We can only expect so much from those who create AI technologies," he said. "We cannot bank on these firms to control their partner ecosystems in the same way Google and Apple attempt to police their mobile app ecosystems, looking out for overt and covert malware."

What's needed is a framework through which AI creators, participants and consumers can all operate; one in which -- at a minimum -- disclosure of interests and expectations of confidentiality must be codified.

"We can't leave ethics to the creators alone," Shimmin said. "To protect the user, first protect the user's data."

Find out what else Shimmin had to say about the evolution of AI.

Cyber-risk management tops agenda at RSA 2019

Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Jon Oltsik is a veteran of the RSA Conference. He's seen the event grow in stature from a small symposium to its current status as a major conference.

This year is no different, as more than 50,000 attendees plan to pack the Moscone Center from March 4-8 in San Francisco. Oltsik said he'll be looking at developments in a number of critical network security areas, including enterprise-class cyber-risk management, cloud-scale security analytics, endpoint security, API security and managed security services.

In particular, Oltsik said, "CEOs want to know about cyber vulnerabilities, who is attacking their critical business processes and whether the organization has the right controls in place to fend off these attacks."

API security also bears watching, especially because the market is so new and gaps exist between the groups responsible for overseeing how APIs are secured, Oltsik said.

Check out Oltsik's assessment of RSA 2019.

This was last published in March 2019

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