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PIPELINE RESOURCES

The COVID-19 Tipping Point


Our world has now changed once again. We have passed the tipping point and there is no going back...
platforms, and applications are nothing new. Pipeline started leveraging many of these virtual technologies over 15 years ago. By 2005, we decided to close our brick and mortar locations in exchange for the more cost-effective and flexible pay-by-use virtual office programs—giving us access to over 1,000 “ivory-tower” office locations worldwide at a fraction of the cost. By 2007, we decided to make physical article and issue reprints only available on demand, and built our own digital publishing platform to harness the power of digital media and distribution mechanisms. 

The only difference now is these digital and virtual technologies have now become mission-critical, imperative—and an integral part of our lives—now and into the foreseeable future.

A Brave New World

People and enterprises are now having to rethink their world and adjust the way they work, live and play. The world is starting to discover that we don’t need to be physically present to be productive, engage in social activities, or acquire the things we need. Many businesses are beginning to deliberate on whether they need a physical office location—and I would argue many, if not most, don’t. Just this week,  Facebook and Visa have announced that it will allow workers to work from home for the remainder of the year, and Twitter and Square have all announced their workers can continue to work from home "forever."

Before COVID, this would be a somewhat speculative play—and an enticing option. Now it’s the only option. These virtual technologies are proven and our bridge to the future. And, at the heart of all this is connectivity.

COVID has forever changed the way we rely on connectivity. Enterprises are beginning to understand what can (and in some cases can’t) be done remotely. Companies are understanding the network and technological components they need to run their businesses in a virtual environment. And new platforms and technologies are continuing to emerge as the lifeline of our global society. People are learning that a virtual meeting, happy hour, or coffee date, can be just as meaningful as one in person. Children are growing up with e-learning and parents will question why they need to be in a physical school—exposed to bullies, negative influences, and the risk of school shootings—when they could transform their homes into virtual classrooms and be digitally connected to peers and teachers across the world. Their lives are already digital; why isn’t their education?

Of course, there is still value in physical connections. But as individuals and a global society, we must now become futurists. Our world has now changed once again. We have passed the tipping point and there is no going back to the way it was. Imagine the possibilities of a world that can transform appliances, rooms, homes, cars, education, events, cities, medicine, and entertainment into something new with just a wireless connection. We already have the technology, but it relies upon dependable wireless connectivity.

The Unique Role and Challenge of 5G

5G promises faster speed, lower latency, and greater capacity than current 4G networks. The use cases for this network are still emerging. But what we do know is this: to shift to a more virtual environment that people and businesses can capitalize on, we need true, pervasive 5G connectivity. But, with 5G in its infancy, accomplishing this is no small task.

In urban environments, 5G requires antennas everywhere and anywhere. 5G requires mobile densification: the process of adding densely deployed, low-powered cellular nodes across an existing network in order to reuse spectrum and add capacity. To give context, just over five years ago, carriers were estimating tens of thousands of nodes would need to be deployed across the five boroughs of New York City. Today, these estimates are in the hundreds of thousands, and collectively less than 10 percent of these have been built to date.



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