The promise of 5G is staggering. With its ultra-high bandwidth and low latency, it has the potential to alter how consumers interact with technology. However, questions remain around its deployment, use cases and marketing.
We’re excited to have Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg sit down for a fireside chat at Disrupt SF to talk about the telecom’s 5G efforts. Vestberg took over Verizon on the eve of 5G.
Here’s the thing: Hans Vestberg is my boss. (Technically, he’s my boss’s boss’s boss’s boss.) TechCrunch is owned by Verizon, operating under the Verizon Media Group, yet we remain editorially independent. Verizon doesn’t tell us what to write or not to write. Likewise, nothing is off-limits for this interview.
Verizon and other telecoms began rolling out the next-generation network to their subscribers this year. And the company has announced plans to launch 5G in at least 30 U.S. cities by the end of this year, even though there are limited hardware options and few marketable use cases.
How will consumers use 5G? When should startups begin building for 5G? How will Verizon educate consumers about real 5G versus fake 5G? We have questions, and we hope Vestberg has answers.
Vestberg became CEO of Verizon in August 2018, succeeding Lowell McAdam. Vestberg joined Verizon in 2017 as its CTO and VP of Network and Technology. Previously, he worked at Ericsson for 25 years, six of which he spent as CEO until he was ousted in 2016 following poor financial results.
Under McAdam, Verizon looked to media companies for additional channels for growth, notably acquiring Aol and Yahoo and merging the two into an ad-serving giant called Oath. Earlier this year Oath was renamed Verizon Media. Its future remains in question as rumors persist about Verizon wanting to spin out the division en masse or by dumping various brands like Huffpo or even TechCrunch.
Vestberg is joining Disrupt SF’s long list of speakers that includes other chief executives, such as Sebastian Thrun, Evan Spiegel, Rachel Haurwitz and many more. The three-day conference is shaping up to feature a fantastic speaker lineup covering all aspects of the startup world.