Vodafone Qatar's chief operating officer, Diego Camberos, recently spoke at the Telecoms World Middle East about the critical 5G requirements needed to realise the full potential of the Internet of Things (IoT). The panel discussion looked at how to transform industries with connectivity and digitise key verticals, how to handle mammoth data volumes with cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and edge computing, as well as the benefits 5G can bring to a global IoT strategy, such as ultra-reliability and low latency.
Camberos's key takeaways on the topic:
Transforming industries through digitisation
The evolution of technology is happening at an increasingly rapid rate. We’re now seeing many industries approach the adoption of new technology as a necessity, rather than a luxury, as they see the benefits of doing so for their business operations and commercials. This has become even more distinct since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic. We pride ourselves on using connectivity to help organisations succeed in a digital world. With our technical expertise, our new leading IoT platform and access to a global network, technology, and solutions, we can bring best in class technologies to Qatar and lead our national drive to digital transformation across entire industries.
We’ve recently revamped key features in our re-launched end-to-end fleet management solutions that enable the delivery of real-time information such as traffic data, vehicle location, driver fuel consumption, vehicle status and employee work-time. This allows all kinds of businesses create new or enhanced operating models. For example, those in food delivery can manage their fuel consumption and expenses, limousine services or school buses can ensure passenger safety through car maintenance management, and couriers can manage their fleet through tracking and influence job allocation and task management for their drivers.
The 5G technology is here and available to use – it’s now about how we apply it for the best user benefits. If we look at the broader Vodafone network, we are heavily invested in enabling various industries to take advantage of this technology such as automotive, health, retail, banking & finance, manufacturing, transport & logistics, public services & smart cities and utilities. The IoT, underpinned by a 5G network, can revolutionise these sectors by using innovative solutions to tackle common challenges and ultimately make them more efficient, safe, secure and competitive in today’s market.
Handling mammoth data volumes with emerging tech
Organisations, regardless of size, are now able to take advantage of on-demand cloud computing and storage resources to become more agile and efficient. For this to happen, though, it is vital that they have a reliable, robust and flexible network. Powered by 5G, high-speed connections allow all businesses with an online presence the flexibility to customise their network services.
The applications are endless; healthcare organisations can utilise high-bandwidth connectivity for the transfer of very large files, such as MRI scans, and have the capacity needed for compute-intensive analysis. Stadiums and venues can transport massive amounts of live video traffic to production sites without compression and enable live streaming.
In finance, the network enables determinism that is vital for predictable performance, especially for security and trading; when ultra-low latency, high-bandwidth connectivity is essential and milliseconds can cost millions.
In terms of emerging technologies, 5G is the missing link that a lot of businesses need to unlock more complex technology through cloud computing, as there is no need for the big physical servers which currently put it out of reach for smaller businesses. Responsible companies are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a way that drives the best outcomes for customers, employees and wider society and the Vodafone AI framework is based on recent policy discussions on how to use AI ethically. By moving computing, storage and management to the “edge” of the network, businesses will see faster speeds and near real-time decision-making, unlocking new strategic and operational possibilities.
The 5G-powered enhancements required for global IoT vision
Entities that have invested and adopted IoT have benefited in various ways to include achieving sustainable goals, improving productivity, supporting business continuity, drive innovation, business success and improve customer experience. Companies are using IoT to access untapped data to drive strategic thinking and develop innovative projects to future proof their businesses.
With 5G, network slicing will make it possible for carriers to offer specific services to different customers, with virtual ‘network slices’ or allocations over the same physical network. For example, IoT applications usually require a large number of connections but with low throughput but mobile broadband solutions require a small number of connections but a large bandwidth. Network slicing could enable operators to offer customers the service that is best suited to their needs and enable a structure where each network is designed to serve a dedicated business purpose.