Global 5G discussion marked by “confrontational” language
With President Donald Trump recently entering the 5G global discourse and furthering the characterization of deployment as an international race, Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri commented that, “What if to squeeze the most juice out of 5G, the question is not who wins but how do we all win?”
Suri appeared live over video today at the Brooklyn 5G Summit and described the ongoing global 5G discussion as marked by “language of hostility and confrontation.”
He specifically called out the dynamic between the U.S. and China characterizing the thinking as whichever country wins “will determine the next decade of commerce.”
The U.S. and China are embroiled in a trade war and the telecoms sector has been a focal point with Trump inserting himself into a potential hostile takeover of Qualcomm by Broadcom and, with the help of federal lawmakers, reinvigorating anti-Huawei (and ZTE) rhetoric.
Suri has long described 5G as the enabler of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and continued with that theme in his session, calling out its potential to create value in physical sectors left behind by the digital revolution–manufacturing, mining, agriculture and healthcare, for example.
These sectors, he said, “are key to improving overall rates of productivity and standard of living. Those very sectors that did not quite benefit from the Third Industrial Revolution…have been leading the practical applications of 5G.”
Nokia recently set up a 5G network for the Hannover Messe industrial fair in Germany, workin with Qualcomm to demonstrate industry-specific 5G use cases with partners like Bosch, Siemens and Festo.
“Fundamental to the whole thing is that those physical industries have lacked the cocktail of four golden elements that allow industries to digitize,” Suri said, enumerating sensors, the systems to analyze sensor data, robotics and a network that connects the whole thing. “That network needs to be powerful, seamless and responsive,” he said.
While making clear that 5G will create value for consumers, Suri said the “most exciting applications go far beyond streaming speeds.” Citing research, he said 5G will usher in a “golden age of productivity” in the U.S. around 2028, in China around 2037 and in India around 2048.
“Those productivity gains are huge for business but they’re even bigger for the citizens of those countries,” as productivity gains have a direct correlation with life expectancy and standard of living. “5G is not about who wins, it is about how everyone wins via a global boom in sustainability and productivity.” It’s not about spectral efficiency or sensor density, he said, but about how communities and industries are transformed. “That is our currency.”
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