CES 2018: A Lesson in Network Redundancy

At CES, telecom expert Joe Lillie talks about how to connect millions of new gadgets

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Illustration of towers and connectivity signals.
Illustration: iStockphoto

This week at CES in Las Vegas, IEEE Spectrum senior editor Stephen Cass is interviewing experts about what they think the future holds for technology, and which new gadgets have caught their eye on the show floor.

On Wednesday, Cass spoke with Joe Lillie [PDF], a consultant with BIZPHYX who has 41 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. They discuss the infrastructure that the world would need to support all the new gadgets on display at CES (should consumers actually want to buy them) and how solar microgrids can improve public health. “These gadgets mean nothing if you don't have electricity,” Lillie points out.

His statement came shortly after two large exhibition halls at CES briefly lost power due to heavy rains that caused a flashover in a transformer, plunging exhibitors and attendees into semidarkness. Once power and connectivity had been restored, Lillie also spoke about the importance of network redundancy, and taking care to upgrade systems that are currently in place. 

“Technology is still dependent upon the day-to-day activity of someone maintaining the equipment,” he says. 

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