17 minute read
Hello, today I want to talk to you about solving the future value equation. And that equation is going to have a couple of parts, one, I'm going to talk about the three drivers, the fundamental driving forces that set up the equation if you want, and allow the equation to come into being. I'm going to also talk about the three catalytic factors that are accelerating this equation, being relevant now.
And those are the two things, the driving forces, and the catalytic forces. And together, they mean we have to work on solving this equation right now, the imperative is now to solve this equation. I'm going to talk about the six things you need to do to solve this equation, and hopefully, in the course of that, provide a view of the future that compels us all to move together as an industry and as a set of operators and vendors coming together with an open ecosystem.
And we're also, of course, going to then try and depict that reality, by showing you a video where all those things, all those forces and factors come together and depict a future reality that is imminent I would argue, and that's the key point.
But let me start with the three driving forces. So that's where we set up the equation in terms of the driving forces, the things we're trying to solve for, if you like, in this new equation. Well one is, there has to be an economic imperative. There has to be a reason that the world needs to change and normally, that has a business reason or a business driving force.
So the economic imperative is increasing human productivity. It turns out that most economists agree that humanity as a species, has come together over time to form communities and collectives that allow us to work in concert to solve big problems and solve them efficiently. And that's what productivity is really all about is more goods produced per unit time, by the same number of workers or even fewer workers.
So productivity is the driver. And it turns out, we haven't done a very good job up until now, of increasing productivity in the digital age. We did a great job in the first and second industrial revolutions, where we created machines and infrastructure that allowed us to do more with our human capabilities. But in the internet age, we've mostly digitized or increased the productivity of digital goods, things like media and content. Which were relatively easy to make available in a digital realm, because they were already being stored and recorded digitally, and then we encoded them and shipped them physically to the consumer, who then played that good out over a digital medium.
But if you see the physical part was really a little bit in the middle, that we could eliminate by creating the internet. And that's what we've done with streaming technologies, both audio and video, we've created an entire end-to-end digital value chain. However, for most physical processes, most industrial systems, manufacturing systems, transportation systems, we haven't managed to digitize those things to the same extent, because they're much harder, they're uniquely human and physical interactive systems, that have very complex math and physics that explain how they work together, or dictate how they work together.
So we haven't done those things, we don't have autonomous vehicle systems, we don't have autonomous or intelligent infrastructure systems, we don't have intelligent logistics, we don't have intelligent mining or shipping, and we don't intelligent human control functions, we can't do intelligent diagnosis, we can't do intelligent manipulation, coupling humans and robotic systems. That missing need or that gap is what we need to do, we need to digitize the physical world to increase human productivity.
So that's driving force, number one. For that to happen, of course, we need enabling technologies. So there are technology drivers in this equation. And they are in set, in some total, the following. 5G, 5G I need to do all the connectivity, and create the connectivity between the systems and the sensors and the robots that will control my physical world and allow me to interact with my physical world.
5G has very low latency, very high reliability, very high capacity, and very high security. All of those things are very critical to allow me to interact with the intelligent sensors, systems, and robots. So those intelligent sensors, systems and robots, they're important, they are the input and the output, if you like, that allow 5G to operate on new data, and also provide the control path for new actions, the new robotic systems. So, sensors and robots are important as tech drivers.
And last, I would argue, AI systems. In order for me to make sense of the wealth of data coming from sensors and send an action back to a robotics system, I need AI systems that help me operate on that data and make sense of it. So those are the tech drivers, 5G, AI systems, new intelligent sensors and robotics, and of course, I can't forget, cloud. Because cloud would be a critical part of where I run the computation that allows me to determine what the right outcome is for every task. So those are the tech enablers.
And last, there's a human enabler, and we often forget this, but the human enabler or need and driving force is to augment me. I need to be able to do more than I can do with my native abilities, whether it's cognitively, to think faster, or physically, to perform a task that I can't normally perform adequately, or as quickly as I would like. So that's the last of the great drivers, is there's a human part, there's a business part, and there are tech drivers. And when those things come together, then that's the driving set of forces that set up the value equation.
Now, why will it happen now? It'll happen now because we see three clear catalysts for this change. One, is COVID-19, we all know that the current imperative for us to be able to remotely work or interact or connect or control, has never been clearer. COVID-19 and the pandemic has taught us we have to be able to work from anywhere and operate any task or perform any task from any place, any time, and that's a catalytic imperative that is now much more apparent than it was in the past.
The second catalyst for this transition and set up of this new value equation is the movement towards edge clouds. I mentioned cloud as a technology, but the edge cloud is critical because allows low latency, high reliability, high capacity and the ultimate security that I'm going to need to control these mission critical, physical world systems. So the move to edge cloud and the movement of, particularly, the webscale cloud providers, to often webscale type systems at the edge of the network, is particularly important as a catalytic enabler.
And the last is open architectures. Think about the world I'm describing, where I've got sensory systems running over network systems to AI systems, running in an edge cloud, that then control robotic systems, that complex world requires many systems to come together in an open, integrated, inclusive way to solve the holistic problem. So we need open architectures and ecosystems, both open interfaces into systems, open source, and open network architectures as well. So that's a catalytic driver, the rise of that in the current tech industry, is particularly important.
So three drivers, three catalysts, when those things collide, we have an imperative to act now, and that's the critical point in this value equation. When you think of transitions humanity makes, they're always exponential in the end, but the first part of an exponential curve is linear. In fact, for those of you who like the maths, a Taylor series expansion of an exponential, the very first term is just linear. But, as you progress through the series, the power terms start kicking, and when those power law terms come up, that's when you start seeing the very steep rise.
But the reality is, we all just see that initial phase as linear, and think we've got an infinite amount of time to make the changes and investments we need to make. That isn't true, because once those power terms kick in, of course, it's game over. Those who've made the early investments typically now become massively successful, and those who've missed making those investments in the linear regime, of course, are left behind.
So the time to act is now. So let's talk about the six key investments you need to make, they are closely related to the three driving forces and the three catalytic forces I just talked about, so let's get started.
Number one, you need to build global, advanced, digital fabrics. The global interconnected, digital fabrics of the future will be based on 5G radio access technology, and fiber everywhere, access technologies that allow anyone, any time, to interact over high performance connectivity tissue.
Think about it in humanistic terms, we have a brain that allows us to interact with the physical world over very high performance connectivity tissue that is inside our bodies, we now need to actually globalize that concept, to allow humans to interact anywhere, any time, over high performance connectivity tissue, almost an external connectivity tissue to ourselves. That allows us to interact remotely with machines and systems.
So build, advanced digital fabrics that act as that high performance connectivity tissue. Related, build local or private networks that are the high performance, very sensitive networks at the extremities, those needs specific characteristics to do with touch and latency and control and perception, so you need to build, local private networks, that are the extreme networks, the sensory networks, right at the edge, that connect to those global, digital connectivity fabrics that I mentioned in point one. So two types of network, one and two, global connectivity fabric, local connectivity fabrics.
Number three, build upon webscale cloud infrastructure and platforms. Don't do what you don't have to do yourselves, don't reinvent the wheel, the webscale infrastructure, with its shift to the edge, and the availability of those systems and platforms, should be leveraged by our industry to accelerate the transformation, both of how networks get built, with dynamic adaptability and instantiation of network functions, as well as all the associated analytics and applications and services, all of which have to be rendered and delivered within that latency interval. So all have to be done within that edge cloud interval.
So, build upon webscale infrastructure. Be open to partnerships, these complex systems I've talked about, with sensors interacting with AI systems, over 5G networks, and controlling robotic systems, all with the edge cloud as the compute fabric, have to come together to operate as one. So we need new models with new partnerships, rather than just supplier and vendor type relationships. Be open to new business models.
“We need new models with new partnerships, rather than just supplier and vendor type relationships. Be open to new business models”
One of the best ways we've invented as humans to consume services in this day and age, is so called, as a service. What that means is you have instant access to anything, any time, from anywhere. The first moves in the digital world allow businesses to go online so I could order something from anywhere, but I actually still had it delivered to me, physically, in many cases, whether physical good or medium.
Now, with the as a service model, I can access whatever I need from wherever I am, without having to wait and that's the as a service model, everything's available to me on demand whenever I am because I can just command it at will. So, move towards as a service type business models are critical.
And last, remain or be trusted. In the future, it's critical as we bring these physical systems and industrial systems online, that trusted entities provide many of the key capabilities that I've talked about. So, we need dynamic, adaptive, low latency, high capacity, ultra secure systems that do all the above. So, those are the six things, so it's build global connectivity infrastructure, build local connectivity infrastructure, build upon webscale cloud, be open to new partnership models to solve the problem holistically, and in an open, inclusive way, be open to new business models of how you make those services available to others, and be trusted.
Those are the six key ingredients to solving the value equation. Now, let's look at a real example of that, of course, I'm talking about the future, so we've had to emulate that, but I'm going to now, narrate for you a little video that highlights how the world will be in a few years time, if I'm right. So here we are, an exploration of the future, and we're driving towards the Nokia factory in an autonomous vehicle.
And here we come, and you're going to see a drone, and I'll pause it right there, that drone is performing surveillance for us, looking around the environment to make sure that everything is secure and nothing has been compromised or there's no intrusion or abhorrent behavior.
It's connected over a 4G network, which is upgradeable to a 5G network in future, that's what the green line signifies, it's 4G today, 5G in future, with an upgradeable radio network interface. So there it is, it's looking around, it's performing surveillance.
Now, let's move forward. Of course, the drone is also avoiding the birds, because it's under intelligent control. Now, let's go inside the factory to see what's going on there. I'll pause it again, just to orient you, there are some mechanical robots here, the red ones, performing manufacturing tasks, and you're going to see they're actually manufacturing radio network components, as well as drones themselves. So this is a reconfigurable dynamically adaptive manufacturing line.
But the important thing here is the different radio networks that are being used to control those systems. Yellow is Wi-Fi, good for data upload and download tasks, but not the most precise tasks. Blue is 5G, millimeter wave, where the beams are directed to each individual component, offering the highest capacity and the lowest latency connectivity. And then green, in the background, is the combination of both LTE and 5G, working on low to mid band frequencies, offering a combination of different capabilities towards mid-latency, mid-reliability, and mid-levels of capacity.
So, those are the three networks, and you see they're operating in concert. Wi-Fi for data upload and download, 4G/5G, for mid-capacity, mid-latency, connectivity. And 5G in millimeter wave for the highest capacity, the lowest latency, the highest reliability. And each of those are operating and interacting with the robots you'll see here. The ones delivering components, and the ones manufacturing the goods.
So let's the roll the video. Now you see all that activity, and you see the different color panels, yellow, Wi-Fi, green is LTE and 4G in combination, and blue beams are the precise 5G, only low latency connectivity. And I want to show you, right here, you see those two robots on the left hand side? They are jointly cooperating to perform a task, here they are jointly assembling a piece, and you're going to see another example in a minute, where one robot hands a component to another robot, that's the need for 5G.
You see, the 5G layer is critical to allow that precise interoperability of those two robotic systems as they assemble a component, so we'll roll ahead and watch very carefully. And you'll see once again, in the middle here, one robot hands a component to another robot here. There you go. And puts it on a conveyor belt.
So, now we go outside. Let's see what's going to happen here. So reorient ourselves, we've manufactured something inside, we now need to move that, we need to transport that good to its destination. So here are the trucks, they're autonomous vehicles, of course, because this is in the future, and we're going to see how they operate as a platoon.
But here's how we do delivery to the truck, we do it using a drone. And the drone again, is over that 5G, high performance network, in order to get the lowest latency and the highest reliability, which we need for drone control. You see it drop the package inside the truck, and then, it landed on the top of the truck. The star by the way, denotes that it's a high priority package, that's why we used the drone to put the package inside the truck, because the drone is actually now going to be part and parcel of the delivery system.
So there it is, sitting on top of the truck, the package is inside the truck, the truck is connected over 5G, and you're going to see it now roll out onto the highway. So here we go. Watch those handoffs, here the handoffs between millimeter wave small cells, allowing the truck to be autonomously controlled, as well as all the data from the truck and systems to be uploaded to the edge cloud as it passes along the highway. You're going to see that it's been determined by the edge cloud AI system that the package could be better delivered by another truck in the platoon.
So there goes that drone again, it's going to down into the truck, in which it originally put the package, bring it back up under precise control from the AI system, and put it in a neighboring truck which has a more optimal route to the destination, all under 5G network control.
Another task, of course, is to determine the right operation of the platoon. There's a car ahead in this example, the platoon separates and navigates around the car, avoiding any danger or jeopardy to the car.
And here we at the harbor. The truck we just saw on the highway is coming towards this harbor and combing its cargo with that coming from a ship at sea. Everything in this harbor is under 5G control. The ships can be autonomously piloted towards the dock and docked under remote human supervision. Equally, the containers can be offloaded using those massive cranes that take the containers off the ship and put them on the dockside. They're then picked up from the dockside and put on trucks, where they're taken to their final destination. Everything under 5G control, because of the critical latency, reliability, and security required for all those processes.
So let's play it forward and see how that all comes together. Here we are, we're going to now zoom in on the crane side view. You see all the blue lines everywhere, representing those 5G connections. You'll see the manifest being scanned from the ship, so that the right container can be identified. You'll see the edge cloud kicking in, it's being used to control all these autonomous systems, as well as do that manifest analysis. There it is. It then directs the autonomous vehicle to the right container space. And the contained is picked up, and placed on the destination delivery truck.
And here we see that truck moving towards the exit, again, under 5G control, you see one of the containers placed at the side there, under 5G control. This truck is being scanned, its cargo being analyzed, looking both for the container load that was placed upon it, to make sure that's still intact, as well as scanning to see if our additional package that came from the Nokia factory is also onboard, and you can see it identifies the additional package, 0.65 kilograms of additional payload in addition to the container load coming from the ship, everything is above board. The manifest is correctly updated, and off we go.
“Solving the future value equation will allow us to build intelligent, mission critical, infrastructures that massively increase human productivity”
And that is the future. So, just to recap. Solving the future value equation will allow us to build intelligent, mission critical, infrastructures that massively increase human productivity, with our example of logistics, manufacturing, transportation, infrastructure, being just one of the examples of how value can be enhanced by solving the future value equation, using the six investment methodologies and imperatives that I identified.
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