Ubiquitous connectivity key to enabling “Industry 4.0” – Mobile World Live

Ubiquitous connectivity key to enabling “Industry 4.0”

22 APR 2015

LIVE FROM HUAWEI GLOBAL ANALYST SUMMIT 2015: The shift to a new way of working – tagged “Industry 4.0” – is underpinned by the real-time delivery of data, making advanced networking technology “a must”, Zhang Shunmao, president of marketing and solutions at Huawei, said.

Key to enabling this will be “ubiquitous connectivity”, not only in terms of coverage, but in bringing unconnected devices to the network. “There are a lot of places we haven’t covered yet, and a lot of things we’ve not connected yet,” the executive said.

The technology industry’s role is based around three key needs: intelligent sensors, so that machines can be connected; the ability to create value from the data generated; and the previously mentioned need for ubiquitous connectivity.

But bringing industry to the Internet of Things is not without its challenges. “For example, for sensors, we need to make so many “dumb” things to be intelligent. It’s not just smartphones or watches, we have a lot of industrial things, and how can we make them connect?” the executive mulled.

Underpinning this is the wide range of connectivity interfaces in use across a diverse set of industries. “How can we connect all the different standards together with one internet, that’s a challenge,” he continued.

And network technology itself needs to evolve to meet the different needs of various applications. For some, latency is a critical issue – industrial control, for example – while in others such as smart meters, low-power is the key.

While LTE-M goes some way toward solving this, 5G will be designed with such requirements in mind.

All of which is brought together by the IoT platform, which is “critical to create value from the IoT technology”.

“Without this platform, you do not know what device has been connected, you don’t know how the device has been connected, what’s the status, and you don’t know where is the data. And how about the security, and the privacy? This IoT platform gives you management of all this connectivity, and all the data. And this IoT platform also provides an API to application developers,” he noted.

With regard to Huawei’s own efforts, “we have seen the big value and we have seen the big vision. We also realised our own capabilities. Nowadays, we focus on three key industries: transportation, manufacturing and energy.”

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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