T-Mobile hasn't been as vocal as its competitors about the burgeoning 5G standards process, but that's because it is first focused on transforming its traditional telecom services to the New IP in preparation for 5G.
Mark McDiarmid, T-Mobile US Inc. 's vice president of radio network engineering and development, stressed the importance of the New IP on a 5G panel at the Competitive Carriers Association annual convention in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., this week, noting that "the transformation of taking traditional telecom services to IP will be a big building block as we move forward." (See T-Mobile: New IP, Partnerships Crucial to 5G.)
This transformation, he explained, is critical to even begin thinking about 5G. Vendors laud the network for its potential to enable new use cases and revenue-generating services, however, without the New IP, it will only add to costs, not help rationalize them. "It's absolutely critical to get legacy services -- voice and text -- and transition them to IP," he said.
Interestingly, McDiarmid pointed out that having an organization that is New IP-ready is just as important as having an infrastructure that can handle it. For T-Mobile, this has meant retraining its employees, hiring employees with a new skill set and adapting the company culture to get things done in minutes and hours rather than weeks and months. "We have to be agile and efficient," he said.
— Sarah Thomas,
, Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading