Typography

Nokia says that 5G will be a key-enabler for what it is labeled as the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution' and that the next-generation technology has the power to completely transform societal norms in sectors such as manufacturing, transportation, energy and healthcare. Telecom Review managed to secure an exclusive interview with Head of Customer Marketing and Communications, MEA at Nokia, Joachim Wuilmet during GITEX Technology Week.

In a compelling and fascinating interview, the charismatic Wuilmet disclosed his views on 5G, and suggested that for the very first time, next-generation technology was being created that wasn't specifically designed for people. He also highlighted the differences between 4G and 5G, and how 5G was going to be fundamentally better from three dimensions.

Wuilmet told Telecom Review, "5G will be the first technology introduced that isn't designed specifically for people. 2G, 3G, and 4G were all designed with human need in mind, like in services such as voice, data and video. Next-generation technology will provide a huge amount of possibilities and it will be able to connect billions of objects and machines. The beauty of 5G is the technology leapfrog that it is bringing to the industry. It is much better than 4G in three dimensions. The first dimension is in the throughput. The best LTE network today can stretch the LTE technology out to 1 gigabit, but with 5G you can easily go to 10 gigabits, 20 gigabits and even above - and that's ultimately going to usher in a whole new era of possibilities."

According to Wuilmet, one of the most powerful dimensions of 5G in comparison to 4G is in its ability to connect millions of machines and devices. The number of connected devices is expected to explode exponentially when 5G is introduced, with figures estimating that there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020. Nokia's Head of Customer Marketing in the MEA region said the third dimension and one of the most important facets of 5G will be its low-latency, claiming the next-generation technology will make way for what he describes as the 'tactile internet'.

Wuilmet added, "What is also very important in relation to 5G is the low-latency. The best LTE network today is in the range of 20-50, 60 milliseconds latency, which is already quite awesome. However, what 5G will enable is what we term the 'tactile internet'. That basically means a few milliseconds, in other words, it's real-time and this is where you can introduce certain applications. 20-40 milliseconds may not be sufficient to prevent a collision between two cars. However, a few milliseconds would allow that."

Wuilmet identified some of the key pillars that he feels will enable the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution' which will ultimately transform sectors such as energy, transportation and healthcare.

He added, "5G will be the key enabler for what we call or the industry calls the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution'. We see key pillars where this technology can be used to transform. The Fourth Industrial Revolution can only happen when all these pillars have reached a certain threshold. We see basically what we call the 'digital energy'. As a society we still use and waste far too much energy. We can use AI and Big Data to optimize the flow of energy consumption. There is so much wastage in big cities, but the technology can actually help to try and optimize energy management into what we call 'digital energy'.

Other key pillars highlighted by Nokia's executive was in relation to digitalization in healthcare and transportation. Wuilmet says that the next-generation technology can enable healthcare professionals to transform the way they operate, and the same was applicable to the automotive industry with the emergence of self-driving cars and autonomous technology.

Wuilmet added, "Digital healthcare means having real-time information about the patient and it's what we call proactive care. Implementing technology in digital systems can optimize and transform the way people do healthcare, and this is really an important pillar. In relation to transportation and connected cars, we need to ask how do we optimize cars in order to save lives and make driving safer. We're working closely with the automotive industry, and we have the concept that we call V2X. We're bringing intelligence and connectivity closer to the network, and we're able to do that today through what is called Multi-access Edge Computing. In the future, we will have V2X and X2X forms of communication."

Wuilmet also disclosed that Nokia recently conducted research for the North American market and discovered that between 2028 and 2033, there will be a productivity gain of 30% - and during that period of time, we will see the first real tangible benefits of the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution'.

According to Wuilmet, Nokia has identified a lot of opportunities outside the traditional area it operates in which is of course the telecommunication industry. He highlighted Nokia's ongoing partnership with Nedaa, Professional Communication Corporation, the Dubai Government security networks provider,  as an exciting collaboration and discussed some of the projects and programs it is currently focused on in tandem with Nedaa.

He said, "We see new opportunities coming beyond the telecommunications sector. This is in the enterprise, government and smart city space. We've been working with Nedaa now for the past two years, and it's been really an exciting partnership for us so far. Dubai is a global leader in relation to the smart city sphere and has a clear roadmap and strategy in terms of what it wants to do here."

In relation to smart cities which is an emerging trend globally in the ICT world, Nokia aims to play a big role in the continued acceleration of smart cities programs and projects in the Middle East region, and its relationship with Nedaa will be an important factor in the Finnish telecommunications colossus establishing a footprint in the smart city sector.

Wuilmet added, "Nedaa is basically here to provide the underlying connectivity for smart cities, public safety and has a very strong focus on mission critical applications. Nedaa is working with other government agencies to provide the technology that can help first responders to have a real-time video and information stream. What we really feel privileged about when working with the Dubai Government and Nedaa is that they really embrace innovation and they share our passion for technology, innovation and progress. We've seen that up close in relation to drone technology. Nedaa is currently experimenting with the use of drone technology in the context of public safety and mission critical communications and we're working closely with them to explore various use cases of how drones can be used for street patrols, surveillance and rescue missions to achieve our primary objective which is make the city safer for residents and citizens."