Inseego’s CTO, Dan Picker, joins Ryan Chacon on this episode of the IoT For All Podcast to talk about 5G, IoT, and sustainability. Dan opens the podcast by introducing himself and Inseego before giving a high-level overview of how 5G will impact IoT. Ryan and Dan then discuss how 5G relates to sustainability and how it stacks up against 4G. They end this podcast episode with a discussion around new use cases 5G will enable for sustainability and potential challenges companies will encounter when moving to it.

About Dan

Dan Picker is an industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience developing and deploying wireless infrastructure, software, medical devices, applications, and mobile devices, including strategic planning and global platform management for companies like Nokia and PureWave Networks. Before joining Inseego, he served as an advisor and board member for many companies, guiding the wireless enablement of medical devices and other products that now benefit from 4G and 5G connectivity. As CTO of PureWave Networks, he helped pioneer the world’s first high-performance 4G small cell base stations for terrestrial and aeronautical applications. He provided strategic direction for product roadmaps and cost reduction programs while leading digital and R.F. hardware, software, firmware, mechanical, industrial design, antenna development, integration, and testing for the company’s infrastructure equipment. He served for two years as the Chair of the International Wireless Consortium (IWPC) Small Cell Working Group, a team of over 120 of the world’s top operators and OEMs. During his 12-year tenure at Nokia, he became the Head of Wireless Platforms, and CDMA Operations, with global responsibility for CDMA platform software, hardware, and ASIC development. He holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering (Communication Theory and Systems) from UCSD and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from UCSB. He also has over 20 wireless technology patents and publications.

Interested in connecting with Dan? Reach out on Linkedin!

About Inseego

Inseego Corp. (Nasdaq: INSG) is an industry leader in intelligent device-to-cloud solutions that extend the 5G network edge, enabling broader 5G coverage, multi-gigabit data speeds, low latency, and strong security to deliver highly reliable Internet access. Inseego’s mobile broadband, fixed wireless access (FWA) solutions, and software platform incorporate the most advanced technologies (including 5G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 6, and others) into a wide range of innovative products that provide robust connectivity indoors, outdoors and in the harshest industrial environments. Inseego’s products and SaaS solutions that provide the highest quality wireless connectivity for service providers, enterprises, and government entities worldwide are designed and developed in the USA.

Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:

(01:24) Introduction to Dan and Inseego

(04:05) Overall impact and role of 5G in IoT

(06:46) 5G and sustainability

(11:32) 4G vs 5G

(14:03) Will 5G enable more use cases in sustainability?

(16:43) Potential challenges in 5G


– [Voice Over] You are listening to the IoT for All Media Network.

– [Ryan] Hello everyone and welcome to our episode of the IoT for All Podcast, the number one publication resource for the Internet of Things. I’m your host, Ryan Chacon. If you are watching this on YouTube we would truly appreciate if you’d give this video a thumbs up and subscribe to our channel. If you are listening to this only podcast directory please subscribe if you have not already done so, to get the latest episodes as soon as they’re out. All right, on today’s episode we have Dan Picker the CTO of Inseego. They provide intelligent device to cloud solutions that extend the 5G network edge, enabling broader 5G coverage, multi gigabit data speeds, low latency and strong security deliver highly reliable internet access. So we talk about 5G, the role it’s playing in IoT, the biggest impact area, especially around sustainability. We talk about, or Dan is able to kind showcase for us how 5G is an important part of sustainability conversation for businesses. We talk about challenges in the space, a number of conversations that kind of relate to that. So all in all, great conversation. I think we’ll get a lot of value out of it. But before we get into it, if you’re out there are looking to enter the fast growing and profitable IoT market, but don’t know where to start, check out our sponsor, Leverege. Leverege’s IoT solutions development platform, provides everything you need to create turnkey IoT products that you can white label and resell under your own brand. To learn more, go tot changes That’s IoT changes And without further ado, please enjoy this episode of the IoT for All Podcast. Welcome Dan to the IoT for All Podcast. Thanks for being here this week.

– [Dan] Thank you for having me.

– [Ryan] Absolutely, you wanna kick us off by just having or I guess giving a quick introduction about yourself, background experience, anything you think be relevant to our audience?

– [Dan] Sure, my name is Dan Picker and I have worked in the wireless industry for more decades than I’d like to admit, I think. And I’m currently working with Inseego. Inseego is the former Novatel Wireless. Novatel was the inventor of the hotspot. So Myfi is a Novatel registered trademark. In my career, I’ve worked on cell phones, bay stations, and now back to edge devices. So I’ve kind of worked on the whole array of devices. And one interesting thing is that I had a stop along the way where I started a consulting company called Blue World Solutions which is actually still existed, I still have that. And the purpose of that is really to try to help to make the world more sustainable, to make it kind of a better place, whether it be for energy usage or healthcare. And the point of that was that early in my career, my goal in life was to connect everybody, to put a cell phone in everybody’s pocket. And I worked for Nokia for 12 years doing exactly that. And now I look at kids and I look at everybody really. And you know, they have a phone in their hand all the time. And I think, what have I done? So how do we turn this into something? How do we turn this into something good? And I decided that I want to figure out how to take technology and really use it to make everything that we need in this world better. So one of those things was healthcare, right? How do we improve healthcare? How do we improve medical devices to take advantage of wireless technology and other things? And I’ve done that as well. And then with Inseego, I saw this tremendous ability to connect the world through you know IoT and to really just try to make everything better. So that brings us to where we are now.

– [Ryan] Yeah, that’s fantastic. Thanks for kind of sharing that background. It’s probably a very exciting career, kind of seeing the evolution of these technologies and products like the phone and turning into smartphone and what we have now and just being able to be closer to that, than I think a lot of people were or have been, which I think brings a lot of good context into the conversation today, which I wanted to kick it off by talking about 5G and from your perspective, can you just talk, talk to us a little bit about the overall impact and role 5G is kind of having as it connects to the IoT space. And then what we’ll do is I want to transition into talking about sustainability a bit, but just high level for our audience, what 5G really means for the industry.

– [Dan] Well, 5G, I really try to avoid comparing 5G to 4G because it’s really a spectrum. Cellular technologies have been evolving for the last 30 years or more, 40 years really. And 5G is, when we talk about 5G, to me, we’re just talking about what can cellular technology do. And 5G is just the latest incarnation of that. And it happens to bring about some great things for IoT, because it allows you to connect a lot more devices together than any previous incarnations of the cellular network could do. So it’s designed with various techniques such as network slicing and I won’t go into to to these in detail now, but the bottom line is that 5G enables you to finally connect more than just people together. You can connect machines together, you can connect devices together. They could be little sensors, they could be video cameras, they could be vehicles, which to some degree I think is kind of the ultimate IoT device They’re moving around. That’s the main takeaway. And then in addition to that, 5G gives you very, very, it gives you very fast connection, but it also gives you very high bandwidth connection at very, very low latency. So things can really happen in real time.

– [Ryan] Yeah, I think it’s interesting to kind of as I have more guests on here and we talk about the different connectivity options in in the IoT space, talking about the role they each play and how having lots of options and choices is actually a good thing for the industry because it allows you to pair the connectivity best with the use case without overpaying or having features and functionality that you don’t need for the use case to do what it’s set out to do. So 5G is a very exciting area of focus because of how wide ranging cellular use cases are. And I think it’s definitely something that there are a lot of people paying attention to how it impacts kind of what we’re doing. I did wanna kind of take this to the sustainability side and ask where do you see 5G impacting or making the biggest impact when it comes to sustainability in general?

– [Dan] So, I mean, almost everywhere, to be honest. So from my perspective, efficiency is equal to energy savings. So anything you can do to improve the efficiency of an industry or of an application, is going to lead to energy savings. And there’s been a lot of work done in the industry lately. There was a report that came out from Accenture recently that I believe was commissioned by the CTIA and one of the key, the key findings of that report is that 5G enabled use cases in the next few years should be able to save effectively the equivalent of taking about 80 million cars off the road each year. So in terms of, in terms of the impact on on the carbon equivalent to our planet, 5G has has so much it can offer and it it goes from across various industries. So we’re talking the simplest thing to understand is what happened with COVID. So COVID was really bad for the world in so many ways. The one interesting side effect it has that pushed everybody home. So people were working from home, people were going to school from home and it really kind of accelerated the ability to do that. So you now have, you now have portfolios of equipment that a company can go to, to send their workers home with a device that will effectively allow them to work from home as if they were in the office. And what companies have realized is this works. It’s not gonna be for every industry, but companies can actually allow workers to be as efficient as they would be in the office and as secure as they would be in the office while working at home. And this both, it saves on the commute of those workers to and from work, which takes cars off the road. It allows companies to reduce the amount of buildings and facilities they need for their employees and save costs in that way. And that’s a very immediate direct savings. That’s one area. Another area is in the ability to monitor items, to monitor things like for example energy, water, the energy grid, water usage, with all the connected sensors you can now put into place combined with this ultra reliable low latency link, you now have very, very accurate and quick monitoring of resources. Because it’s not a fixed wireless technology, you can also put things on, for example, a drone, and this starts to sound futuristic, but it’s very real. Imagine a farm now that can, that can send a drone out to survey the field and to determine where does it really need water, where does it not, where does it need pesticide and where does it not? And estimates are hundreds of billions of gallons of water saved a year by mechanisms like this. And by monitoring, you know, 50% reduction in pesticides, I’ve seen that number. And all of this, all of this doesn’t even consider the fact that you can, that the cars that are on the road, you apply this technology to smart traffic lights, smart parking, now you have fewer cars that are sitting idling at intersections as cars could actually through V two X which is vehicles to everything, could actually be connected directly to a traffic light. And the traffic light could know that they’re coming and make sure it’s green by the time they get there, even better than just minimizing their weight at the light. Things like this will make a dramatic increase autonomous shuttles in smart cities.

– [Ryan] Right, right.

– [Dan] It’s virtually everything you think about with 5G, if you keep in mind efficiency equals energy savings. You can see how this will have a dramatic effect.

– [Ryan] How big is it, how big is it from a jump from 4G to what 5G is able to do? I’m not sure if people really understand or have perspective on kind of how big of a leap it is to enable certain things that we’re talking about here, going from 4G, 4G to 5G, things that maybe we’re not able to be built or it utilized for until 5G is available. Can you talk a little bit about kind of what that, what the difference really looks like there for people who may not be familiar?

– [Dan] Well, I think that the good news is that deploying a 5G network is not a lot more difficult than deploying a 4G network. So it’s fundamentally an upgrade of the network equipment, in reaching broader areas, it’s going to mean putting in more equipment. So, there is going to be a buildup that’s necessary there. Fortunately within the US, the government has recognized that and put a lot of money aside as part of the broadband package to do that. But from a technological standpoint, it really is just an evolution. It’s not even a full rip and replace necessarily, but what I would mention that 5G ads over 4G beyond the basic wireless technology is that the whole network has evolved to support this, this low latency, high bandwidth sort of capability and the ability to support so many IoT devices, which also means, another thing that came with 5G is adding edge processing at each step. So you have your standard processing in the cloud, we’ve brought processing to the edge now to the base station edge, so that where sensors need to have processing done, it could be done right at the edge of the network, but it could be done on premise as well. So for example, my company Inseego, one thing that we make is we make 5G IoT devices that actually in many cases have extra processing within them. So that is a bit of a rip and replace. You’d basically take one of our devices and put it in your facility, whether it’s a factory or a home or a enterprise and it could connect to a whole bunch of different sensors. So it really is the same concept as 4G, it’s just an evolution.

– [Ryan] Fantastic. And do you foresee 5G enabling things or more use cases and opportunities for companies who, especially the ties to the sustainability side, businesses that really care about their reputation they wanna make big impacts in the environment, they obviously care about their bottom line. Those are things that it sounds like more doors are open to kind of play in those alleys based on, because of what 5G enables when it comes to sustainability and potentially opportunities that companies can really consider now.

– [Dan] I mean, I absolutely do. I think that, I think, we’ve talked about all the advantages that 5G brings. So I think that companies can gain, companies can feel very good about moving to 5G, it’s going to bring them a lot of advantages. I think that the balance of that is how do companies move to 5G in a way that is one, affordable to them and two that’s secure. So talking about first the affordability part of this, so 5G is not more expensive to move to than 4G was. It’s just an evolution. If anything, costs are coming down. Second and there’s a broad set of devices available, in terms of security. First of all, 5G inherently has more security built into it. So a company can feel good about moving to 5G for that reason. But in addition to that, because we know that 5G is now going to be used for critical infrastructure, meaning critical infrastructure of the country, our water systems, our utility systems, enterprises can now deploy these 5G devices at home with their home, with their remote workers, knowing that those workers are working in as secure an environment as if they were in their office. In my company, Inseego, offers something called SD Edge which basically is exactly that. It allows a worker to work at home as if they were in the corporate network, without having to set up VPNs or anything like that. It just is like bringing your office home. So with that, a company can feel very good about deploying 5G, getting all the the savings they’re going to get. And by the way, at the end of the day all of this capability is not gonna take jobs away. It’s actually gonna create new jobs. It’s gonna create new green jobs.

– [Ryan] Yep, yeah, it’s very interesting. Like a lot of the companies I’ve spoken with about 5G really hasn’t gotten to the sustainability or the green side of the conversation. And I think it’s a very important one for us to be able to kind of shed some light on. And you’ve done a very good job of that today. Do you foresee any potential challenges that 5G may bring to the space or companies looking to kind of utilize it?

– [Dan] So, yes. So I would say that the challenges are simply getting there. So it’s happening today for sure, but true 5G rollout has been gradual because there’s a lot of equipment that needs to be replaced and so forth. It started as basically a postage stamp on the map of the United States, and same picture with other countries and has been growing out and expanding beyond that. In a lot of cases where you have 5G today, it is 5G, it is high bandwidth, but they haven’t yet rolled out the lowest latency features or the ability to support many, many IoT devices. So it’s going to be time that’s required. The next thing is affordable service plans. And that’s the whole industry. The whole wireless industry has been focused on service to phones and so forth. They have to think about service to machines now and devices you can’t pay, $20, $30 a month for that. It has to be very inexpensive. It has to be usage based and 5G is built very nicely to do that. But the industry is still evolving and figuring that thing out. And I already mentioned that the cost, the cost of of evolving the network is another challenge. The US government has recognized that as a challenge, has passed the infrastructure bill and actually my company Inseego’s working very closely with the US government, both in figuring out how to roll this technology out domestically and educating other countries on doing the same because this is really a global problem. It’s a global challenge.

– [Ryan] I couldn’t agree more. Well, Dan, thanks so much for spending the time today to talk about this subject. It’s definitely one we haven’t covered enough of and/or had the opportunity to kind of discuss it in detail. And I think you’ve done a great job here, kind of shedding light on some things that are super important. For our audience who wants to learn more about the company, follow up maybe on this discussion with anything, what’s the best way that they can do that?

– [Dan] I think the best place to start is to go to our website which would be in And from there, we talk about all of our products from consumer, to enterprise, to industrial, indoor, outdoor, basically portfolio products and software services to go along with those products to bring you all the security features and everything that you need, whether you’re rolling out a public network, a private network in a school, in a home, in a enterprise, in a factory so. We have it all there, so thank you.

– [Ryan] Great, yeah, thank you again, Dan, for taking the time to do this. Really appreciate it and look forward to getting this out to our audience. I think they’re gonna get a lot of value out of it.

– [Dan] Thank you very much for having me.

– [Ryan] All right everyone, thanks again for watching that episode of the IoT for All Podcast. If you enjoyed the episode please click the thumbs up button, subscribe to our channel and be sure to hit the bell notifications so you get the latest episodes as soon as they become available. Other than that, thanks again for watching and we’ll see you next time.

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IoT For All
IoT For All is creating resources to enable companies of all sizes to leverage IoT. From technical deep-dives, to IoT ecosystem overviews, to evergreen resources, IoT For All is the best place to keep up with what's going on in IoT.
IoT For All is creating resources to enable companies of all sizes to leverage IoT. From technical deep-dives, to IoT ecosystem overviews, to evergreen resources, IoT For All is the best place to keep up with what's going on in IoT.