Colo Atl GM Speaks on Global Keynote: 5G in the Age of Covid-19 – Where Do We Stand?

Capacity Media’s “Critical Connections” Webinar Series – Global Keynote: 5G in the Age of Covid-19 – Where Do We Stand?

Featuring Executives from American Tower / Colo Atl, Cambridge Management Consulting and Digital Colony

As industries across the world adapt to the new normal, the Critical Connections panel, held on May 26, takes a look at the short and long-term impact seen on 5G projects.

  • How have buildouts been affected in the space of the last six months?
  • Where have opportunities been fast-tracked and new use cases appeared, for example in healthcare?
  • What could 5G networks look like in a post-pandemic world; has investment remained unaffected?

John Ghirardelli, General Manager of Colo Atl and Director of US Innovation for American Tower contributed to the discussion with great perspectives, some of which are highlighted below.

When it comes to 5G rollout throughout the globe, “one thing for folks to keep in mind that the cycles from 2G to 3G to 4G to 5G have typically been ten year spans, so the fact that we’re going to be able to switch to 5G overnight is probably not going to happen; it’ll probably take place in different markets at different rates of expansion.”

“We believe that 4G is going to continue to be the backbone for the very near term in terms of the mobile technology solutions, on both enterprise and consumer side,” John continued. “There is a lot of excitement around 5G – we are seeing carriers starting to plan and position. Tying that in to what we’ve seen with COVID-19, I don’t think any carriers have seen a slowdown in terms of planning and preparation and deployments; what we have seen is a slowdown of supply chains being able to respond, such as construction crews or regulatory bodies, permitting processes etc. – this process has been slowed down due to projects being put on hold or working remotely.”

In the session, John talks about the ongoing need for infrastructure, positive signs in areas across the globe where demand is rising for fibers, towers, and data centers. There is ongoing conversion between wireless and wireline systems – and a tremendous amount of transformation that is currently underway and being expedited due to recent events. What is most exciting about this continued evolution of decentralization, pushing things out further to the edge, is that we are going to be relying on this infrastructure and technology now more than ever. A lot of transformation – and opportunities will take place – and American Tower looks forward to playing its role in that.

“I believe that this event in the history of the world is just going to speed up the demand for connectivity solutions. Everyone,
the human race, loves to interact and be around people so everyone being stuck at home is forcing them to use technology more than ever before. I think this is going to be a positive net net for the global infrastructure place, the connectivity place;
for American Tower, Digital Colony and all of the other companies all willing to help play that role and willing to expand for the sake of the world. So it should be a very exciting period the next couple of years.”

To watch the full webinar, visit