YOU ARE AT:5GKagan: AI and 5G wireless coopetition have begun

Kagan: AI and 5G wireless coopetition have begun

Coopetition with 5G and AI will impact wireless and other industries

A few decades ago, there was something new and interesting happening and we gave it a name. We called it coopetition. This is when competitors find a reason, even a need, to work together for their mutual best interest. Coopetition is typically a short-term solution to a larger, but temporary problem. Today, coopetition is starting up once again with AI and 5G. Let’s take a closer look and see what this means for every competitor, customer, worker and investor.

Recently, in a private executive briefing, I explained to top-level execs how their industry is changing thanks to new technologies and new thinking. One item every CEO and senior executive is interested in is a clear understanding the forces which are reshaping their industry. And this is impacting a growing number of industries. 

Executives need to understand the resurgence of coopetition and how it will impact them and their company in coming years.

Private executive level briefing on 5G and AI coopetition

Companies are learning about using coopetition to work together and move ahead of their competitors with AI and 5G wireless. Like in the past, during this time of working together, both partners can be successful. And this does work for a while. But ultimately the companies move out of alignment and go back to being fierce competitors.

The good news is both AI and 5G are poised to usher in incredible changes to the wireless and telecommunications industry, and in fact many other industries as well. The bad news, even though this can be helpful, this is only temporary. 

Coopetition is when two competitors align and work together

Coopetition is when for a brief and shining moment the stars align. Next, as both companies continue to move forward, they ultimately grow out of alignment once again. 

Unfortunately, when coopetition ends, things can get ugly for a while. There are often lawsuits as to which company should retain the once shared technology and many other items. Then, after a while, both companies eventually settle their differences and move forward.

I believe that is what we can likely expect with regards to the current wave of coopetition between 5G and AI companies.

How long will coopetition last this time around?

We are still at the very early stages of the AI revolution. At the same time, we are also at the relatively early stages of the 5G revolution and how it will impact other industries.

Going forward, AI and 5G are starting to work together.

Providers of Artificial Intelligence are not wireless carriers, and wireless carriers are not AI companies. That’s why working together right now makes sense. 

At this stage, it makes sense that coopetition will work because both AI and 5G wireless companies need each other. 

So, until we reach a time when working together stops making sense, this will continue. 

In fact, I believe it will accelerate. Going forward, this will expand as new technologies are created with 6G and more advanced AI.

Pull the camera back and get a longer-term perspective on coopetition

If we pull the camera back and get a longer-term, historical perspective the future becomes clear. There are a wide variety of new technologies. They work well on their own. Plus, they will work well together.

I follow the flow of different industries like wireless, telecom, AI and more for almost 40 years. Today, I believe we are still at the beginning of a very active and exciting season of change. That’s why whether you are a senior executive, an investor, a customer or a worker, it is important to stay up-to-speed with the new technology that will continue to change every product and every service, in every industry. 


Jeff Kagan
Jeff Kagan
Jeff is a RCR Wireless News Columnist, Industry Analyst, Key Opinion Leader and Influencer. He shares his colorful perspectives and opinions on the companies and technologies that are transforming the industry he has followed for 35 years. Jeff follows wireless, wire line telecom, Internet, Pay-TV, cable TV, AI, IoT, Digital Healthcare, Cloud, Mobile Pay, Smart cities, Smart Homes and more.