Verizon CSO praises pandemic response

Verizon CSO praises pandemic response

INTERVIEW: Verizon chief strategy officer Rima Qureshi (pictured) told Mobile World Live the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic pushed the operator to increase its investment in 5G, as various industries accelerated adoption of technologies reliant on the next-generation mobile networks.

In an interview during MWC21 Barcelona, Qureshi explained the pandemic had highlighted the importance of the mobile industry and its technology, with many enterprises deciding to trial new use cases for 5G which accelerated adoption by between five and seven years.

“We are seeing solutions that would have felt a little bit science-fiction not that long ago”, Qureshi said, citing connected robots cleaning hospitals and offices as an example, and predicting potential use cases in logistics and warehousing, among others.

Qureshi also noted a more personal benefit, explaining greater reliance on technology spurred by the pandemic meant people have “become a lot more comfortable with it”, in turn opening “the aperture” to developments which may have previously been regarded as a future prospect.

“Given what we have lived through, we don’t have to imagine the use cases. We see them all around us”.

During the interview, Qureshi also highlighted the broader positives of the return of MWC21 and offered her thoughts on where the industry’s future focus should lie.

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