5G is building a new world for us – but a perfect recipe requires more than one ingredient
Components are moving non-stop on the assembly line towards their destination in employees’ expert hands. Production failures affect the quality of the finished product, but they can be detected immediately by means of video analytics and an ultra-fast 5G connection. Data analysis is done by artificial intelligence, which addresses any deviations in real time.
The above situation is familiar in Nokia's base station factory, where a cloud service, a data center and 5G technology were utilized to carry out an experiment in an authentic industrial environment. A similar solution can be used in any environment of the manufacturing industry.
“We transferred high-quality video through Nokia’s 5G test network and Telia’s fiber network to Telia’s data center in Helsinki for analysis,” says Janne Koistinen, Director of Telia’s 5G Program. “Thanks to high-speed connections and low latency, we were able to correct the deviations detected by the video analytics application in real time, which improved the quality, reliability, and efficiency of the process.”
Real-time data revolutionizes business models
The experiment in the factory environment is a good example of how 5G can benefit industry. However, 5G alone does not create new business or develop processes. In addition to network solutions, the whole consists of, for instance, sensors, cloud and data center services, and applications.
The growth of data-savvy business is driven especially by the development of the IoT and the Industrial Internet. It has been discussed for a long time, but latency-free data transfer and the use of sensors on a broad scale are possible only now, thanks to the cost-effectiveness of sensors and network technologies such as 5G and NB-IoT. (The article continues under the picture.)
“As regards building new kinds of consumer solutions and Industry 4.0 type solutions, the necessary technology is already available to companies. 5G is ideal for real-time data transfer and can be used to transfer large amounts of data at once – a good example is video analytics. NB-IoT, in turn, serves as a network solution even in challenging coverage areas and is especially suitable for use when data is transferred irregularly – for example when the sensor detects a change in its environment,” Koistinen explains.
To exploit the potential of technology, we also need to review the company’s business model. The change from a product-driven world towards a customer and service-driven business is underway here and now, and the pace keeps accelerating. New digital solutions boost this development.
“Real-time data shared between different players in the ecosystem will become core business. This has also an impact on the public sector, one of whose roles will be to produce open data for companies and individuals,” Koistinen says.
Real-time data sharing generates new services. It can be used, for example, in logistics planning, remote control of equipment, quality assurance, and new kinds of value-added services. A good example of data sharing is Volvo's application that enables you to order your purchases to a parked car. The supplier receives a single-use code to unlock the car once.
“One player wouldn’t be able to provide such a service, but it’s the cooperation of several service providers that creates the value to the customer.”
Smooth introduction of artificial intelligence and other technologies requires a well-built platform
What, then, is a well-working layer of technology on which to build new business?
"The right platform is the key to enabling innovation, and to agile development and deployment of innovations. That’s why technology should also interest the business management,” Koistinen points out. “At present, services are often purchased separately, and some of them may be produced by the companies themselves. This makes the entity difficult to manage and inflates the platform’s IT costs, and the money should rather be used for innovation.”
“A good example of the importance of a well-working platform is artificial intelligence. In the worst case, the introduction of a new AI-based application means patching and revamping several different systems and solutions, which is, of course, slow and complicated. In addition to artificial intelligence, this applies to all new applications and processes – their introduction may slow down or be even hindered in a supplier jungle where the IT platform is fragmented,” Koistinen underlines.
A functional and uniform IT platform is an advantage when changes are to be made quickly and there is a need for agile business development. One supplier is, moreover, able to guarantee information security for the whole.
“If the platform consists of different fragments, the company must build the backup by itself. This leads too often to a situation where the whole is not necessarily secure.”
“Telia's solutions can be used to build a uniform and cost-efficient platform for collecting, storing and refining data without getting lost in the supply jungle. In addition to the 4G and 5G network, the customer gets NB-IoT technology from us for the needs of the IoT and the Industrial Internet. Data storage and processing are handled at the Telia Helsinki Data Center, and for fixed network connections, we can offer several options, including the world’s leading global backbone connections. We also ensure the information security of the whole package we deliver.”
“The best ingredients can be found on the shelf, so to speak, so why not start building the perfect recipe with us today,” Koistinen concludes.