IoT, Big Data und 5G: The Return of the Networks – Issues of the future Austria

Comments from the WMC Barcelona by WSA Chairman Peter A. Bruck for Medianet

BARCELONA. 2015/03/04 – The marketleading Telcos plan their comeback into big business and innovation and new technologies are on their way back. The talks at the World Mobile Congress are not only for strategy development, but also for the national and regional positioning. At the end of the day it is about EU vs. USA, China vs. Korea.

Austria should strain towards a part in this with A1 and Mexican Capitalisation, especially as Europa already is way back concerning the Development of the present 4GTechnology. EU commissioner Günther Öttinger, responsible for Digital Agenda, sees, that it is about the build-up of the infrastructure of the future that will change radically all other infrastructures like streets, rails, water, gas, oil etc.

Digital networks connected with mobility guarantee the all-time presence of Internet Intelligence and with this significant transformations, how our society and economy functions and how we culturally develop.

But still we are by far not there. And the present looks deer for the Telcos. Falling turnovers at rising investing costs are forming a gap troubling even the strongest. Also here the main cause is Innovation and new technologies.

Long distance calls are done via Skype and not over a telephone and texting is not done by SMS, but by WhatsApp and Viber.

With this the revenue streams from phonecalls and short messages, the major income for telcos for over 20 years, are coming to a halt. Adding to that, the EU Commission has regulated away the Cash-Cow or roaming fees, breaking away the revenues of the cross country communication.

Added to the falling revenues, Telcos have to invest in new technology and infrastructure, without having shares on the revenues of Netflix, Facebook or Google.

In a meeting during the GMSA Congress, GSMA Boss and Telenor President, Jon Fredrik Baksaas, reproached Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg that Internet services earn with investments, that they burden on others – telcos.

Why is this intersting?

Because the development of the digital infrastructure will decide about the future of a country, a region, an economic area. The smart infrastructure is based on the on Internet technology, but has entirely different dimensions: not humans communicating with humans, but things communication with things and humans. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the base of automatic cars and secured flats.

With transferred data via those utilizations never thought of possibilities become reachable.

Reaching from the reduction of water use to energy saving, from prevention medicine to individualized consumer goods production. The keyword Big Data describes this development only so far, as the data stream rises exponentially and Analyses can only be done by highly developed Algorithms.

Korea will, says KT Telecom CEO Chang-Gyu Hwang, stage the Winter Olympics in 2018 in Pyeongchang as the first real Next Generation Digital Show-Case. From 2020 on the networks of the fifth generation will be everyday business.

The performance comparisons between the different generations of telco nets are in any case remarkable. As Ken Hu, CEO of next to Ericsson leading telco provider Huawai, demonstrates, 5G cells will be able to link 100 billion connection points, while presently 4G only connects thousands and 3G only hundreds.

This might not impress yet. If you measure the speed of the new nets, with 3G an 8 GB sized video takes 17 min to download, 4G does it in 7 min and 5G in 6 seconds. For hospitals this means for example, that an online exchange of health files (in Austria still not everywhere available) can move to a video consultation over to real time brain surgery.

The differences can also be made clear by the example of the automatic car. The transfer latency with 4G lieas around 50 milliseconds, this is 1,4 meters stopping distance at 60 km/h.

With 5G the latency shall lie at 1 millisecond, that would be 2,8 centimetres, the difference between an accident with harmed persons and driving on without problems.

For countries like Austria it is also a question between a future of innovation and its applications or the demise by absence of decisiveness and comfortable complaisance.