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Feb 20 2018

Cloud and digital transformation drive socio-economic change

With over half of our demos powered by the Cloud, Nokia’s stand at Mobile World Congress 2018 will provide an immersive experience of the digital future and reveals a clear message: the cloud is more than a technology, it is an engine driving the world’s digital transformation.

As pioneers of cloud infrastructure digital-native enterprises have created a new customer experience, in which immediacy and high customization are the norm. Communications Service Providers (CSPs) see huge opportunity in becoming Digital Service Providers (DSPs) to improve their flexibility, reduce their costs and increase their business value.

Nokia recently published a white paper on the value of the telco cloud. As cloud technology matures and CSPs undertake their digital transformation, it is clear the cloud is opening a new range of operational and business perspectives and driving multiple social, economic and regulatory changes.

Nokia's stand at this year's Mobile World Congress is the perfect place to discuss these changes. Several demos will focus on cloud technology and more than half will illustrate how cloud technology will change the way we live and work.

Exploring new investment models

One demo will show how the cloud (and 5G) can improve road and public safety: the deployment of Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) technology enables HD video content to be delivered with ultra-low latency, providing drivers and first responders with real-time visual aids and information about traffic congestion.

Yet, the deployment of MEC and 5G infrastructure to reach the required level of coverage and reliability will require huge investment. New investment models might be needed. The World Economic Forum recently published an article on how Public Private Partnerships could accelerate these deployments: Who will pay for the 5G that will power self-driving cars? and it is clear that a broad ecosystem of investors and suppliers are required to deliver the full business potential.

Enabling new revenue models

We will also show how the cloud will change the game in the enterprise domain. For example, the ultra-low latency allowed by MEC, combined with 5G access, will enable haptic* feedback devices that create the illusion of touch in a virtual world. This will allow people to control robots handling hazardous materials, while themselves remaining in a safe environment.

We also address the question of how small and large networks can be deployed efficiently. Several models are possible. Small enterprises could buy the network components online and purchase professional services from the supplier. Recently, new business models have emerged, with CSPs acting as wholesale providers, (re-)selling network capacity to third parties. Famous examples of LTE wholesale networks include Altan Redes in Mexico or Ukkoverkot in Finland. You can read more in this blog

Cloud and 5G network slicing can potentially accelerate this trend and enable B2B2C business models, where each third party would act as a virtual operator. We have a demo looking into how the agility of the cloud and the functionality of network slices can create new differentiated services to serve a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) or an enterprise customer and create new revenue opportunities for operators.

Calling for new regulation for digital industries

Digital health is another hot topic. Real-time patient monitoring will ensure patient wellbeing is monitored through wearable devices and sensors in the home. It allows seniors to retain their independence in familiar surroundings, while local health authorities retain hospital beds for critical and emergency care.

The next critical question is that of data privacy. A recent BVA survey showed than 98% of French citizens are ready to share health data collected through connected devices with their GP. The survey also shows that 99% would refuse to share those data with the webscale companies. One of the key assets of CSPs’ networks is their high level of security and reliability. DSPs could have a role here, both from a network perspective and from a business perspective. This also means that data privacy must be looked into at a broader regulatory level. The European Union took a first step with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will be enforced from May 25th, 2018. This regulation, applicable to all industries, aims at better controlling the way personal data are stored, secured and used on the cloud.

Cloud technology, along with 5G, is a key building block for the digital transformation of CSPs. Cloud is not just a technology, it is a catalyst for socio-economic change. Yet, beyond the immediate benefits, the cloud is reshaping the economy, enabling new business models and raising new regulatory questions.

* Haptic or kinesthetic communication recreates the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user.

For more information, read our blog on “how to kick-start your digital transformation” and visit our website to read more about Nokia Cloud solutions.

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks using #digitaltransformation #cloud #5G #telcocloud #MWC18

About Olivier Guéret

Olivier works in Nokia’s strategic marketing team for mobile operators, assessing how Nokia helps them undertake their digital transformation and how it impacts the world we live in. Olivier held several positions in operations, product management and marketing during his 20 years in the telecom industry.

Find Olivier in LinkedIn and Twitter.