I have been in Seattle area for 27 years. And the area is known for being cloudy.
The top cloud companies Amazon and Microsoft are headquartered here. Google has a large presence. Faceebook too. Seattle has the highest concentration of cloud workforce in the world. T-mobile is headquartered here. AT&T has a large presence in Redmond.
5G requires a cloud-native core. You go to Ericsson, Huawei, and Nokia’s 5G architecture and they all mention cloud. Here is Nokia.
Chatting with a friends and family we have made the observation that it is extremely hard to hire cloud operations staff. If you want to learn and be trained you go to Amazon, Microsoft, or Google. And many go to multiple. Then you look for whether you want to go to a startup and try that path or be a free agent go where is the top money and build up your resume. In this plan do any of these people say I am going to spend 5-10 years working on my resume then I am going to work for a Telco. No. Every Telco has failed with its own cloud services. What would lead an educated cloud expert to think going to a Telco will be worth their time. Seems riskier to go to a Telco than going to a startup.
Now some of you may disagree with this view. That’s OK. The problem is there are lots of cloud people who have no plans to even look at a Telco cloud operations job. So the Telco is faced with the option to retrain its existing staff for cloud operations which is being done with SDN, NFV, and VNF. Yeah try to figure out what that stuff does and how it fits together. :-) And it requires system level skills as a service based architecture is about how all the pieces work together.
On top of that the number of 5G radios deployed will grow a magnitude or more to support the latency, throughput, and range issues of the new spectrums.
If you listen to the 5G hype you think it is right around the corner. The problem is cloud operations staff will severely limit rollouts at scale.