Neville Ray, CTO of T-Mobile
Today more than ever we see the vital role technology plays keeping us connected and allowing us to adapt quickly to change. In a matter of weeks, some healthcare providers have shifted to a telemedicine model, schools and universities have converted to online classrooms, restaurants have pivoted to delivery and pick-up only models and millions of workers from businesses of all sizes have moved from physical to virtual offices. T-Mobile for example, transitioned more than 12,000 care experts out of call centers and into their homes in just a few weeks.
As remarkable as this has been, we are just scratching the surface as we face a new normal. With technologies like 5G, we will dramatically change this country’s infrastructure to do even more.
Remote biomedical monitoring and detection, virtual-reality classrooms and boardrooms, smart factories and on-demand drone delivery systems. 5G networks will power services that someday change nearly every facet of how we live, work and play, by connecting people and things at tremendous scale.
But how do we get there?
First, you need a 5G network with capacity AND breadth. That’s exactly why T-Mobile and Sprint joined forces … so the Un-carrier can create a transformative nationwide 5G network that will supercharge innovation in the U.S. We call it #5GforAll, but it is more than a great hashtag. 5G for All is like an operating system for the wireless future – a platform for innovation on which creators can build a diverse ecosystem of 5G products and services. Smartphone apps for LTE revolutionized the mobile economy in ways no one could have predicted. The same will be true with 5G, but at a much greater scale across all industries. It will be the innovators, developers and entrepreneurs that make this magic happen.
T-Mobile will help fuel this ecosystem – not just by delivering 5G for All, but also through a range of initiatives to identify, nurture and support innovators across industries. As we begin this journey, I’m excited for my team to kick-off two initiatives – the 5G Open Innovation Lab and T-Mobile Accelerator.
5G Open Innovation Lab
Today, we are teaming-up with the 5G Open Innovation Lab as a founding partner with Intel and NASA working with Amazon Web Services, Google and others to bring developers, start-ups, enterprises, academia and government institutions together. Here we will focus on emerging applications for edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and more, developing groundbreaking applications and services that unleash the potential of 5G networks.
The Lab has selected a first round of 17 companies to participate in a 12-week virtual program. Participants are at various stages of development and all have initiated fundraising including Series A rounds of $15 million or more. The Lab is initially focused on companies that are developing emerging 5G applications and services within the agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare and entertainment industries.
We also just began working with six amazing startups focused on AI, drones, robotics, autonomous vehicles and more. They have been selected for the T-Mobile Accelerator, a program that brings innovative companies and leaders at T-Mobile together to develop and commercialize new applications and solutions for 5G. This is a continuation of the award-winning Sprint Accelerator which began in 2014. The Accelerator, located in the smart city corridor of Kansas City, serves as a hub for corporate innovation and entrepreneurial engagement, and we’re excited to add this program to the T-Mobile portfolio of incubator efforts.
In addition, we continue to operate the T-Mobile Launch Pad innovation center, home to the Un-carrier’s device and network labs as well as Tech Experience. The Launch Pad is where engineers develop next-generation wireless technologies, and Tech Experience gives visitors a chance to interact with the latest advancements.
While we are fortunate to be headquartered in the Seattle area alongside some of the most vibrant technology leaders in the world, we are also reaching out to the best and brightest minds in the country via other accelerators, as well as incubators and universities.
We are working harder than ever to build a transformative 5G network that will serve all Americans. But we must build something bigger than ourselves – an ecosystem that goes well-beyond the realm of traditional telecom. It will be a platform for innovation, limited only by our creativity and imagination. So we ask the entrepreneurs, innovators and developers of tomorrow – are you with us and where will you take us next?