Why businesses must drive the next evolution in global connectivity

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Phil Mottram, Senior Vice-President, Communications Technology Group, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

  • Deployment of 5G networks is resource-intensive will require support from businesses.
  • Businesses stand to benefit significantly from 5G innovation and will be the driving force behind adoption.
  • To accelerate global growth post-pandemic, 5G needs to be integrated with the other prominent technologies including WiFi and the cloud.

Conventional wisdom tells us that every business is now a technology business. Through the explosion of devices that compute in some form or another – from cars and phones to medical devices and farming equipment – the lines between the ‘technology’ sector and other industries blur into transparency. As we stand on the precipice of another era-defining technological shift, as outlined in the World Economic Forum’s 5G outlook series, there is good reason to predict that every business is about to become a 5G business as well.

The evolution in previous generations of cellular networks has enabled increasingly better services for individual consumers, and hence the adoption of 3G and 4G was to a large extent driven by consumer demand.

5G, on the other hand, is about much more than faster download speeds to mobile devices.

Smart cities, cloud-enabled crop management, digitised healthcare systems and long-awaited autonomous vehicles will all be enabled by 5G. While individual citizens and consumers stand to benefit greatly from all these innovations, it is not a monthly increase to cell phone plans that will pay for them. It is businesses and public sector organisations that will adopt and utilise the vast array of new technologies enabled by 5G, and this opportunity for innovation is what will drive value back to network operators deploying this new and expensive infrastructure across the world.

Opportunity for innovation with true 5G

For businesses to start integrating new 5G-enabled services, telecom operators themselves must continue to adopt the latest 5G network technologies, as many of the high-profile innovations linked to 5G can only be realized when networks are upgraded with 5G cores – the ‘brains’ of networks. Once installed, network operators will be able to provide dedicated superfast speeds and guarantee low latency connectivity for services that require instantaneous data transfers, services such as industrial IoT devices and telehealth systems, through a concept of dividing the network into channels – also known as network ‘slicing’. This potential for organisation-level innovation will drive progression in network infrastructure itself, with positive outcomes for consumers as well.

Alongside this, 5G represents an immediate opportunity for telcos to deliver new cloud computing services at the edge of their networks. To give an example: Some applications, including those that need faster download speeds, optimized bandwidth or particular security requirements, are better suited to the edge. These apps can be hosted on cloud infrastructure close to the user, such as at an office, or on street furniture: If you have a connected car communicating with a traffic light, low latency is crucial, but that data doesn’t need to be transferred hundreds of miles to a cloud data center because the information is only required for 30 seconds.

Telecom operators and cloud providers see this opportunity and are moving quickly to offer cloud services at the edge via the 5G network, another crucial avenue where telcos will start to realize a return on their investment in deploying 5G. Again, the benefit to individual consumers is apparent but the innovation required is for businesses in the first instance.

Connectivity to power global growth

Together with the desire for new and innovative services, there is a pressing need to increase connectivity and start driving economic expansion as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. 5G will undoubtedly play a significant role in addressing these needs but it cannot do so in a vacuum.

GSMA estimates that 5G will cover one-third of the world’s population by 2025, adding $2.2tn to the global economy by 2034, while research commissioned by the WiFi alliance notes that the global economic value of WiFi will reach $3.3tn this year and $4.9tn by 2025. Similarly, opportunities from convergence are becoming clearer as 5G and the latest iteration of WiFi – WiFi6 – are understood to be complimentary technologies that together will transform entire sectors.

A 2020 report from Deloitte found that 86% of networking executives believed that 5G and WiFi6 will be transformational to their organizations, and 79% believed this scale of impact will extend to their industries as a whole as well. The foundation for widespread adoption of next-generation networking technologies is evident in the private sector.

Enabling digital transformation at the society level

As the IT and telecommunications sectors become increasingly intertwined, there is now a broader ecosystem of companies contributing to the evolution of networking technology that will shape our economies in years to come. For example, in Fort Collins, Colorado, HPE has established a shared lab to enable this ecosystem to come together and trial new 5G solutions ahead of deployment in the real world, and in 2020 – in response to changing customer requirements – we launched a cloud native 5G Core network software and hardware platform on HPE Greenlake. We are encouraged by the level of ambition and innovation taking place in the telco sector and while it is clear that businesses will be propelling adoption, we are excited about the potential ramifications for businesses, governments, and individuals alike.

To ensure the many innovations enabled by next-generation networks become a reality, businesses from all sectors should be alive to the potential of 5G – and it’s convergence with WiFi – while governments must do all they can to enable roll out. The prosect of fully digitally enabled economies and a new Age of Insight defined by discoveries that benefit all of society, depend upon it.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How private investment can boost education access and quality in the digital economy

5 amazing people fighting to save the oceans

European Commission adopts new tools for safe exchanges of personal data

Banks must take bold action to fight climate change. This is how they can do it

A Sting Exclusive: Healthy oceans amidst COVID-19, written by the United Nations Under-Secretary General

Here’s how to close the $176 billion health financing gap

Vulnerable young people must not be blamed & stigmatised for violent radicalisation

Why business schools can’t “return to normal” after the COVID-19 pandemic

State aid: Commission approves €500 million Greek scheme to support the self-employed affected by coronavirus outbreak

Countries urged to make ‘digital world’ safer for children

The European Youth explains the age gap in European business in the 21st century

African cooperation on peace ‘increasingly strong’, Security Council told

There is no recipe for a healthy mental state

MasterCard @ MWC14: Innovation in times of regulatory uncertainty

FROM THE FIELD: Gaza men advocate for an end to early marriage

The Great Reset needs great leaders to help the most vulnerable

The global suicide rate is growing – what can we do?

EP Group leaders on Brexit: “the agreement is not open to renegotiation”

China, forever new adventures

The ethics of the Medical Technology Civilisation era

Who is responsible for public health? The tendencies and its benefits –or not– on Health Education around the world

‘Antagonistic gestures and accusations’ drown out Kosovo dialogue hopes, Security Council hears

Teenage girl’s death sentence spotlights Sudan’s failure to tackle forced marriage, gender-based violence – UN rights office

Ambition, transformation, active citizenship: COP24 looks to next year’s big UN Climate Change Summit

COVID-19 shows why we must build trust in digital financial services

With lifelong learning, you too can join the digital workplace

Mergers: Commission fines Sigma-Aldrich €7.5 million for providing misleading information during Merck takeover investigation

Recognize, celebrate and ‘stand in solidarity’ with persons with albinism

Happy workers are more productive, research shows

Financing fossil fuels risks a repeat of the 2008 crash. Here’s why

The different ways of care: Is there a general rule to follow?

Safety fits into our palms: The role of mobile technology in healthcare systems and life saving

Closing the data gap: a cost-effective way to improve air quality

Fostering global citizenship in medical students through exchanges

Sexual abuse of elderly likely to ‘grow dramatically’, UN expert says

Praising Roma’s contributions in Europe, UN expert urges end to rising intolerance and hate speech

UN Convention that promotes mediation to resolve trade disputes moves closer to entry into force

Superbugs: MEPs advocate further measures to curb use of antimicrobials

UN’s AIDS agency ‘greatly encouraged’ by latest scientific breakthrough showing cure is possible

Scientists have created the world’s ‘first psychopath AI’

How multistakeholder platforms can strengthen our multilateral system

How the powerful science of behaviour change can make us healthier

Soil erosion must be stopped ‘to save our future’, says UN agriculture agency

The Internet of Bodies is here. This is how it could change our lives.

The US + Britain trivialize mainland Europe, NATO and the EU

Cyclone Fani hits India, UN moves to protect vulnerable refugees in Bangladesh

6 data policy issues experts are tracking right now

Blockchain is not a magic bullet for security. Can it be trusted?

Only one in five countries has a healthcare strategy to deal with climate change

At least half of people who have a job fear they’ll lose it in the next 12 months

Trump to run America to the tune of his business affairs

Forest fires: Commission adds planes to rescEU fleet to prepare for summer

Here’s how data can shine a light on financial crime

Security Council must ‘come together’ to address the plight of children trapped in armed conflict, says UN envoy

Commission presents review of EU economic governance and launches debate on its future

Why democratizing skills is the key to the post-pandemic economy

How smart farming is helping Brazil feed the world

Black babies more likely to survive when cared for by Black doctors, suggests new study

Belarus, climate action, COVID-19: MEPs assess EU summit results

Why Eurozone urgently needs the ECB to print and distribute at least €500 billion

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s