Remote-control monster trucks may not be the first thing that springs to mind when considering how technology is enabling the fourth industrial revolution, but the machines formed a key part of Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri’s keynote session to highlight how ultra-low latency rates will be a key element in enabling a raft of new industrial applications.
A truck located on Nokia’s stand in the exhibition hall was remotely operated by Nokia’s CMO Barry French, who joined Suri on stage in the conference centre. In 4G mode the vehicle proved difficult to control, but responded nearly instantly when running over a pre-standard Nokia 5G technology.
Suri used the demonstration to highlight that applications including self-driving cars, fleet management, distributed supply chain management and even controlling future train networks require “networks with vastly superior performance to those that we have today”.
Those future networks will need to be hyperlocal, supporting “the intense demands of crowds in major events”; hypermobile, in terms of the industrial applications; and hyper scale by providing “extreme connectivity supporting billions of devices”.
Suri said without those elements the fourth industrial revolution “will not be much of a revolution. There will not be much stepping forward let alone leaping.”
Allison Kirkby, Tele2 CEO, explained why connectivity is key to enabling new applications and services. If you have “no connectivity” you have “no revolution” she said.
The executive said great connectivity will be delivered by mobile and fixed networks, but argued “mobile connectivity is what will drive the fourth industrial revolution,” in terms of enabling applications including automation, IoT, cloud technology, advanced robotics, and self-driving vehicles.
“There is a very clear pattern: they are all dependent on connectivity. Even more so wireless or mobile connectivity.”
Mobile operators have a chance to monetise the demand for connectivity by striking partnerships with companies in other industries. “Our role is to deliver a network experience that is so good that we can monetise that as a service, and leave other services to other partners.”
“As operators I don’t believe we will benefit by massively branching out into many parts of the value chain,” she said.
The Tele2 CEO said while 5G offers exciting opportunities to meet the demand for greater connectivity “there’s still a lot of runway left in 4G as well.”