October, 2017


The Director Speaks - "2028 Olympics' experience will need new technological capabilities"

Jerry Power This month the Olympic Committee formally announced that Los Angeles will host the Olympics in 2028 (with Paris hosting the 2024 Olympics).  Ten years might seem sufficient to prepare but given the expected increases in technology, it is not.  More specifically, we know the technology that will be available to us in the year 2028 will be far different from the technology of today.  Technology rides on top of infrastructure and, while we could wait and use new technology on an old infrastructure base, instead I would suggest that we utilize the time and first organize a forward-looking infrastructure base so we can then put the new technology on top that infrastructure.  Obviously, every person at the event will be streaming their experiences to friends and family at home.  Drones, beacons, and interactive displays will be working together to manage the crowds and provide security oversight.  With events being held at the Coliseum, Dedeaux Field, Galen Center, the Convention Center, Staples Center, City Hall, the LA Football Club, Microsoft Theater, and the USC Village, USC will be the obvious focal point for much of this tech-centric activity.  For an event of this scale, I believe it is incumbent upon us to consider communications as an infrastructure component that is every bit as important as transportation or the facilities themselves.  We should use the incremental time between now and 2028 to put an infrastructure in place that addresses the applications of the future will need.  I am reminded of the time my son, patiently explained to me, “I (his dad) simply does not understand, but he needs technology to survive”. He and his generation are the people who will be attending the 2028 Olympics and we must consider how to make this an event that satisfies their needs.  The events are certainly the primary attraction but the experience will be marred if the attendees are not able to augment their experiences with the technological capabilities they have come to expect. 


Ibrahim 1. At present, what are some of the biggest challenges facing Telus and the telecommunications industry at the moment? 

The cost to serve a bit/s is not dropping as fast at the price of s bit/s; operators are spending more time on new technologies to get the cost curve under control and take up some of the applications and applications enablement revenue. Areas like IoT and Video and Identity and Security are critical

2. What technologies are on the cusp of causing massive disruption to the way we live our lives? 

On the infrastructure, the top two are NFV and Cloud and how they will transform how we buy, ingest and operate networks. On the client side, it is IoT and BYOD for Internet services (wireless and wireline), the opportunities are endless are we are at the infancy stage so lots could go wrong and agility is critical.  

3. At one point it appeared as though we were moving to globally homologized markets but now we are seeing signs of fragmentation.  What role does technology play in this shifting landscape? 

At a high level we have harmony and convergence, sadly once one work through the details the permutations and possibilities actually cause practical decisions that make interworking at a low level. 5G holds a lot of transformational promise for TELUS, however, the practical debates have started and we see fragmentation at the 5G core side already. We do see the emergence of a few global defacto ecosystems, NA I would say is leading the SD-WAN arena but we are lagging in the other areas.

4. In the 1967 film, there is a classic line where Dustin Hoffman, a recent college graduate, was given some career advice by a family friend.  With one word, “plastics”, the family friend implies that Dustin should seek a career that tied to the emerging world of plastics.   If there were a similar film today and Ibrahim Gedeon had such a role, what would Ibrahim’s advice be? 

Artificial Intelligence, the technical middle class is disappearing and being replaced by semi-skilled labor (plug & play) and smart machines (such as Alex and Siri). AI is taking this phenomenon and accelerating the technology development and adoption, and one is either riding the AI wave or it is crashing into them with destructive consequences. Yep, AI. 

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