LØRN Case #C0411
5G Digitizes Society
In this episode of # LØRN, Silvija talks with Technology Research Manager at Telenor Group, Patrick Waldemar, about the new opportunities created by 5G networks, such as providing solutions not only for smartphones, but also communication solutions for industrial purposes and the support it would provide for more sensors, more transmission capacity, and better reliability when development in telecommunications and the oil industry, software development, and strategic we need it. Patrick Waldemar joined Telenor in 2002 and is Vice President in Telenor Research. He has more than 15 years of management experience and education within Strategic Management, Strategic Marketing, and Information Technology. He holds a Ph.D. in Telecommunication from NTNU and a Master of Management from Oslo Business School (BI). He has experience in research & management work. Over the last 8 years, Patrick has been head of Telenor’s research on network technologies focusing on 5G.

Patrick Waldemar

VP, Telenor Research

Telenor

"With 5G we are now able to have multiple sensors, transfer more data and have higher reliability when we need it."

Varighet: 31 min

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Who are you and how did you become interested in technology?

I am Research Manager at Telenor ASA and lead research in the next generation of technology with a focus on 5G and security. I became interested in the technology studies at NTH / NTNU and from the technology-oriented work I have had. Statoil R&D, FAST and Telenor.

What is the most important thing you do at work?

The most important thing we do in the research part of Telenor is to stay up to date and try to understand the possibilities and limitations that come with new technology.

What do you focus on in technology?

For the last 6-7 years, my focus has been on better understanding 5G both in terms of technology and how 5G will affect society. 5G will contribute to the digitalisation of society.

Why is it exciting?

For me, 5G is exciting both because the technology itself is advanced and challenging to understand and because 5G offers society many new opportunities.

What do you think are the most interesting controversies?

The extent to which mobile operators, alone or in combination with others, will be able to deliver 5G is for me an exciting topic and controversial in the sense that new players can become some future 5G solutions or deliver the 5G solutions without us mobile operators.

Your own relevant projects last year?

The most relevant project is 5G-VINNI. The project will show that the performance requirements set for 5G can be met and demonstrate how 5G can deliver solutions to selected industries.

Your other favorite examples of your type of technology internationally and nationally?

In 2018, we saw some 5G tests and small pilots. In 2019, we will see larger pilots in selected areas. For Telenor in Norway, we have a pilot in Kongsberg who demonstrates broadband to the home and to companies, as well as communication that supports a self-driving bus.

What do you think is relevant knowledge for the future?

In most future solutions, data handling will be an important component. Knowledge of storage, processing and analysis of data will therefore be relevant for the future.

What do we do uniquely well in Norway from this?

In Norway, we work well both in 5G and in artificial intelligence. The unique thing in Norway is perhaps that we are good at collaborating and have a relatively high level of trust when we enter into a collaboration.

A favorite future quote?

If time travels is possible, where in the world are tourists from the future? – S. Hawking

Main points from our conversation?

5G contributes to the digitalisation of society and will reinforce the trend we already see with everything connected to the web and data being used for efficiency and smart solutions.

Who are you and how did you become interested in technology?

I am Research Manager at Telenor ASA and lead research in the next generation of technology with a focus on 5G and security. I became interested in the technology studies at NTH / NTNU and from the technology-oriented work I have had. Statoil R&D, FAST and Telenor.

What is the most important thing you do at work?

The most important thing we do in the research part of Telenor is to stay up to date and try to understand the possibilities and limitations that come with new technology.

What do you focus on in technology?

For the last 6-7 years, my focus has been on better understanding 5G both in terms of technology and how 5G will affect society. 5G will contribute to the digitalisation of society.

Why is it exciting?

For me, 5G is exciting both because the technology itself is advanced and challenging to understand and because 5G offers society many new opportunities.

What do you think are the most interesting controversies?

The extent to which mobile operators, alone or in combination with others, will be able to deliver 5G is for me an exciting topic and controversial in the sense that new players can become some future 5G solutions or deliver the 5G solutions without us mobile operators.

Your own relevant projects last year?

The most relevant project is 5G-VINNI. The project will show that the performance requirements set for 5G can be met and demonstrate how 5G can deliver solutions to selected industries.

Your other favorite examples of your type of technology internationally and nationally?

In 2018, we saw some 5G tests and small pilots. In 2019, we will see larger pilots in selected areas. For Telenor in Norway, we have a pilot in Kongsberg who demonstrates broadband to the home and to companies, as well as communication that supports a self-driving bus.

What do you think is relevant knowledge for the future?

In most future solutions, data handling will be an important component. Knowledge of storage, processing and analysis of data will therefore be relevant for the future.

What do we do uniquely well in Norway from this?

In Norway, we work well both in 5G and in artificial intelligence. The unique thing in Norway is perhaps that we are good at collaborating and have a relatively high level of trust when we enter into a collaboration.

A favorite future quote?

If time travels is possible, where in the world are tourists from the future? – S. Hawking

Main points from our conversation?

5G contributes to the digitalisation of society and will reinforce the trend we already see with everything connected to the web and data being used for efficiency and smart solutions.

Vis mer
Tema: Digital strategi og nye forretningsmodeller
Organisasjon: Telenor
Perspektiv: Storbedrift
Dato: 190614
Sted: OSLO
Vert: Silvija Seres

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5GIoTSensorDigitalization

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How 5G could change everything from music to medicine5G-VINNI

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En LØRN CASE er en kort og praktisk, lett og morsom, innovasjonshistorie. Den er fortalt på 30 minutter, er samtalebasert, og virker like bra som podkast, video eller tekst. Lytt og lær der det passer deg best! Vi dekker 15 tematiske områder om teknologi, innovasjon og ledelse, og 10 perspektiver som gründer, forsker etc. På denne siden kan du lytte, se eller lese gratis, men vi anbefaler deg å registrere deg, slik at vi kan lage personaliserte læringsstier for nettopp deg. Vi vil gjerne hjelpe deg komme i gang og fortsette å drive med livslang læring.

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Utskrift av samtalen: 5G Digitizes Society

Silvija Seres: Hello and welcome to Lørn. My name is Silvija Seres and this podcast is in collaboration with Telenor. Our topic is network. My guest is Patrick Waldemar, vice president for research and technology at Telenor. Welcome. 

 

Patrick Waldemar: Thank you. I hope to tell you more about 5G and its role in society. 

 

Silvija: I’ve been a close fan of Telenor for years. Some of the work you’re doing in the network is world leading. Norway has had an edge in network and sensor technology for a long time. We’ve built Telenor to be the 7th biggest mobile phone company in the world from a country like Norway. Sometimes we forget what kind of heroic task that actually was. I hope you could help us understand why your network is cool and what consequences it has on society. But firstly, who are you? 

 

Patrick: I grew up in the mid part of Norway. 1200 km north of Norway, far out in the countryside. It’s close to Verdalen, a lot have heard about it if you watched Lotto. I got interested in technology early. I was mixed between sports and technology. In a previous interview I was named as caring competitive. I like to collaborate, but I’m also really competitive. I wanted to go to Trondheim. I’ve taken a MA and Phd in telecommunications. Then my pdh didn’t work, I proved what I did was not the state of the art. 

 

Silvija: What is a phd in telecommunications? 

 

Patrick: Typically boils down to something very specific that only you and some few others know about. In my case it was about image compression. That time JPEG came, but it was a competitive solution. One of them was mine and it was based on a mathematical solution. But the overall thing, even though the mathematics was optimal, didn’t turn out to work. 


Silvija: So in practice JPEG was more efficient for compression and transition. 

 

Patrick: It turned out it works for sized mixed stacksactions. I ended up working in the oil business for the research department for three years in Statoil. 

 

Silvija: sized mixed stacksactions are images of the holes under the ocean?

Patrick: Sections of the underground which typically are made of vessels out in the sea where the measure and create the images. 

 

Silvija: You have one of the best compression algorithms for this in the world. For understanding what’s under the surface of the ocean. 

 

Patrick: Yes. Except the real world hit me there as well because the oil companies put so much money into those surveys that they don’t want to compress and risk losing any data. During the three years they decided they didn’t want to use compression. Then I moved on and had 2,5 years with fast search and transfer in the image and video group. We were close to spinning out and doing mobile TV a bit too early in 2002. 

 

Silvija: Just before we realised that streaming was coming. 

 

Patrick: Yes, but I got triggered by the TV part. I ended up leading the technology development in Canal Digital between 2002 and 2012. Since 2012 I’ve been heading the research on 5G at Telenor. 

 

Silvija: It reminds me of a quote from Churchill. That success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. I think that's what research is. You solve one problem after another and you’re never done. If you keep going long enough and far enough then you’ll come up with amazing transitions. 

 

Patrick: Normally what you failed with 10 years ago comes back in a slightly different flavour and then you can use it. 

 

Silvija: Then it’s something that really makes a difference. That’s what we saw with the internet, mobile telephony and networks. Now you work lots with 5G. What is 5G and why is it interesting?

Patrick: What we’ve seen in mobile technology so far is that it started out with mobility with voice and sms. Then with 2G, 3G and 4G. With gradually more broadband and capacity. Now we can use all of those services we see with the internet.

 

Silvija: We say 3G and 4G, and shake our heads when we only have 3G. What a real differentiator.

 

Patrick: The differentiator between 3G and 4G, is that with 3G you were amazed to use the WAP on your phone. Very slow and low capacity. Now with 4G, my parents live far out on the countryside. Telenor has cut the DSL lines there, so they only have mobile broadband. But with 4G I get between 70 and 90 megabytes of speed download which is more than enough for the services. 

 

Silvija: THey can watch netflix and a video conversion with you. Also all the services that are coming to their home with IOT that will work with 4G? 

 

Patrick: 4G starts with what’s called NB IOT for the IOT part. I think we’ll see those services will be picked up with 4G and when it comes to 5G you’ll be able to have more sensors. I wanted to frame what 5G is. I would say I have a triangle and in the upper part of the triangle it’s more capacity. In the lower left part it’s more sensors. In the lower right part it’s reliable and low latency. 

 

Silvija: More capacity means more bandwidth. It’s a bigger pipe. Then with sensors it’s more intelligent data from the physical world. 

 

Patrick: Instead of being constrained to 10 000 sensors per square meter, you could have a million sensors per square meter. 

 

Silvija: THis is relevant when we start complying it to medicine and life's important infrastructure. 

 

Patrick: Like a hospital or another building where you need a lot of sensors to map the psychic world. There you get more data, can do the smartthings and the efficiency in building in cities. 

 

Silvija: THe last point was security and latency so it should work fast and safely enough. 

 

Patrick: You can have lower latency and some services required, i.e if you have a robot running towards you, you’ll like it to stop. If the network is on 5G with only a few milliseconds of latency you can trust if you hit the stop button it will stop. When it comes to reliability it’s about giving priority to some services. In the future the mobile network will be part of our emergency network. Then you need to assure when services are used they always get priority. 

 

Silvija: Prioritising in an intelligent way with all of the technologies. It’s a part of the concept of digital twins where we make a digital model of things in the physical world. It gets smarter and smarter because we have all of the sensors. We breathe life into it. 

 

Patrick: The digital concept for me is a tool to map the psychic world and to have a storage we could learn from. It could be ships, happening in the house and the mobile network. I would like to have the network as a digital twin so I could operate it more efficiently. That’s one of the part that’ll come with 5G.

 

Silvija: If you want to have a digital twin in your network, if you have a digital model of the whole network and because of the sensors you can put on your router and units you can see the performance of your network through your model and tune it? 

 

Patrick: Once you have the ability to monitor what’s going on in different parts of the network both in the core and more at the edges, you’ll also have feedback loops. Then you can tune the network. Because the future networks are more complex to some extent you need to do it this way in order for them to be automated so that they can be runned and operated efficiently. 

 

Silvija: Explain to us that 5G is a thing with much more bandwidth, capacity, more sensors and better ability to prioritise and keep things safe. It has a big effect on something called edge computing and IOT. Could you tell us about that? And also Telenor technology innovation, how is this relevant to Telenor?

Patrick: So far the mobile technology has mostly given solutions to the smartphone and the phones. When we come with 5G there’s a business to business segment. There are industrial solutions that’ll be solved through 5G. 

 

Silvija: Meaning management of cities, traffic, buildings?

Patrick: Yes, within the health sector, smart ports, transport sector to both monitor and help the communication cars of autonome transport. 

 

Silvija: First I thought about Telenor as a phone company and communications. Then we thought about it as a mobile company and then as a digital service company. But really the best in the world with your unique research on networks. 

 

Patrick: Now you’re saying something important. Over several years we have improved our knowledge and ability to roll up networks. But that’s the infrastructure. In a given industry or setting when we want to enable smartports we don’t know..

 

Silvija: Smartport is a thing on the router that decides how the information flows or endorsed?

Patrick: At the ocean when a ship is docking. When a ship arrives at dock and do it automatically you need a sensor to see how close you need it to be. The best example is if you’re going to Yara Birkeland, we’re cooperating with them, and to see how 5G can help improve the communication solutions around the station where an autonomous ship is coming and docking. It’s going to unload and load stuff, all needs to be automated and done in an efficient way. Something you’ll need to ensure that the communication solutions are delivering. Sometimes a lot of senros and sometimes you need the capacity to monitor using video solutions etc. My point is that, both for this case, a hospital case or transport case, we as a mobile operator don’t really know the domain. The most important part to take with us is how this collaboration happens. In some cases it will be us offering a solution and some cases a joint thing where you work together. If you take the oil installation, we would provide communication solutions for them. We would have to guarantee everything, then there's a reliability side here and it has to be balanced in the agreement. Either it’s a pure operator and a collaboration, maybe in some instances it’s a third party who does it, but we provide the infrastructure.

 

Silvija: Now you’re trying to do automation, but it’s flexible automation in real time with all the information where you read the psychic world at a level of precision which is enormous in terms of data and processing capacity. For that you need the kind of network smartness we have. 

 

Patrick: Yes. I actually forgot the most important part when I explained 5G. It’s more capacity, sensors and distributing low latency. What comes with 5G is the flexibility. We call it the ability to target certain solutions, but that’s a software solution. You could target it in one instance to the hospital and next instance to the transport. That’s what enables us to scale of our solutions and to learn from solutions in Norway and take it out internationally and do something similar. 

 

Silvija: it’s amazing because we’re using networks more and almost in an expansionary growing fashion. But you could reshuffle the peaks and therefore offer a better bandwidth. It’s a new business model for access level. 

 

Patrick: You asked what we do in research that’s so special. The last two years we’ve been lucky and good. We got awarded a few EU projects. We’re leading a project which is called 5G vinni. If you go to 5Gvinni.eu and its open results. We set up large scale facilities in Norway, UK, Spain, Greece and Germany. We connect them and show that the parameters that are going to run 5G are delivering what they promised. We also show that different industries can use the platform and they are given the opportunities to test with their needs. To see if it works or if it’s a challenge. 

 

Silvija: It’s an international setup where each setup could be Yara Birkeland ship, a hospital or a smart city Trondheim. 

 

Patrick: Yes, in the three instances we have at the moment is the hospital in Oslo, Kjeller with the defence and at Fornebu where we will do some of the tests. 

 

Silvija: You’ll 5G enable them for all the capacities and flexibility. Then you’ll test the new kinds of digital twins services on them. 

 

Patrick: We invite different industries to come and test. We have some that are close to the project that has given us the requirements and needs in the phase where we’re building it up. The first version of this is the 1st of July. 

 

Silvija: Internet of things and edge computing. Very basic understanding on my part of IOT is to put sensors and some computational power into anything around us and they communicate and can calculate. Edge is pushing so much of that computational power in data out from the central unit into the edges of the network. Why is that important?

Patrick: It’s important because for some applications you’ll need some of the low latency. Then it comes down to the distance between the mobile phones, the device you have or the radio part. Then where the process is done. 

 

Silvija: You want the processing to be down with where you are. 

 

Patrick: Then you can get down to the low latency parts. We’re talking about 1 milliseconds, 5 milliseconds and not 30-40 milliseconds that we have now. 


Silvija: I can imagine this is important for heart equipment and medical stuff. 

 

Patrick: Any equipment that you need to be sure you have instant feedback. For instance it’s a lot within health where I can operate, not necessary surgery, but we’re testing ultrasound. Then you have immediate feedback. I’ve tried to do an ultrasound on myself and it’s hard, so imagine if you were not in a physical spot it would be even harder. 

 

Silvija: Isn’t this the opposite of the cloud? With clouds we try to move everything far and away where we can’t see it. Is it a challenge on how you collaborate between the edge and the cloud? 

 

Patrick: It’s a good observation. You could see the edges for fog. You create a small cloud that’s out in the edges and it’s self enabled, and can deliver the services that are needed at the edge. 

 

Silvija: The centralisation at network level with intelligence and computation. You’ve done something exciting in Trondheim. Different think differently about smart cities, but you have a concrete project which is trying to network. Tell us about it. 

 

Patrick: We have a EU project. It started on the 1st of June. One of the things it would do is to look into smart, sustainable cities to do measurements and use the data in a smart manner. Then both help the city and learn how we can network and operate in an efficient manner. 

 

Silvija: Interesting. You’re working international too with people from Kings Cross University. Tell us about it. 

 

Patrick: We’ve arranged several 5G conferences and the last one in 2018. Then I invited a professor, he’s one of the most amazing people I’ve met. He’s a componist piansist and strong in his technology research. He has introduced different concepts like the internet of skills. He’s trying to use gloves that he puts on to learn how to play the piano. He records when he’s playing and if someone else has a glove they can transfer and learn how to play the piano. He’s also trying a concept when it’s high cost for playing a music part or theater in London, at other places where you have a different time it’s low cost. Imagine if you could play music performance and have it at different locations, but put it together. It’s synchronized reality. 

 

Silvija: Is it holograms?

Patrick: No, it’s making sure that the sounds and videos are in sync. Which is difficult if you have long distances. He’s using 5G as a part of the solution to enable it. 

 

Silvija: We can see the flexibility. These concrete examples are what makes people remember the difference within different technologies. Anything else from your research department?

Patrick: What I want you to remember is that 5G is contributing to digitalisation of society by enabling more capacity, sensors and the notion of reliability and low latency. We’re early and the full standard is not yet set, will be this year. At the moment we see a lot of pilots in Norway and internationally that will gradually turn into commercial rollouts. We’ll be in industrial solutions, transport solutions, health solutions etc. In 3-4 years we’ll see more scale rollouts. 

 

Silvija: Telenor is an international company. You do research mainly based in Norway? 

 

Patrick: We don’t have research offices, but work with business units. We get challenges that we see. 

 

Silvija: For concrete projects they are your inspiration. 

 

Patrick: Yes. With the internet of things we have started IOT in Norway, that one is moving out to some of the other business units to learn from what we have done in Norway. And see how it can be used in other countries. 

 

Silvija: Telenor was early with payment services in Bangladesh and health services in several of your countries based on digital infrastructure and especially mobile phones. Many of the countries say it’s too late to catch up, but a great time to leap from. They can be a great inspiration for these kinds of services. 

 

Patrick: Lots of these services are building on from those experiences. Also what we do in the Nordic business segment we would like to move onto the business segments on some of the Asian business units. 

 

Silvija: Are you able to use the customer experiences from those countries as something that inspires you for the service rollouts? 

 

Patrick: There are three parts in our research department. One is with customer experience and journey, then we have two technology departments. Learning from typical customers journeys in different settings is valuable bringing into the other services. 

 

Silvija: One of the controversies I would like to talk about is the idea of how innovations really happen. It’s how do you figure out what the really super idea is and the value when you try to solve a technical problem. You’re a living example on how it works and it’s cool. Many people think it starts with a business model, but it doesn’t. It starts with the problem you want to solve and then you figure how to make unique businesses of it. 

 

Patrick: It starts with a need and people wanting to collaborate, and the trust you have between several partners. That is what enables some of the things we’re doing in Norway to scale. 

 

Silvija: Telenor has been good at being able to play on the strengths of the different geographies. They’re part of Asia that have helped us with inspiration with relevant business innovation etc. Norwegians with their lack of hierarchy, trust and openness are very good collaborators for research. The other controversy we don’t have time for is the idea of algorithms as the golden thing. But 80 per cent of the job is getting the data and then you spend 20 percent of your time figuring out the algorithm. 80 percent that is data gathering, organisation and creation of data is what most people consider boring. 

 

Patrick: It’s not boring and you really need to automate it too. You need to have a repetitive way of gathering data so you can know the quality of it. You need to understand the data you have so you can build the models you’re using when you analyse it. 

 

Silvija: We need to talk about data models and simulation at a later stage. Do you have a quote? 

 

Patrick: I have one that I like and for me it gives some thought. It’s by Stephen Hawking. He raise a question “if time travel were possible, why don’t we see any tourists(?) from the future”.

 

Silvija: Future can’t be known, but it can be created. If you can summarize the most important thing in one sentence?

Patrick: 5G is currently under development, it would contribute to digitalization of society. It will do it through more efficient solutions, more capacity, more sensors and through the notion of ensuring you can have certain reliability on services. It will help the smartphone and enable services on a smartphone, but maybe even more it will provide industrialised solutions that we need to work together to create. 

 

Silvija: 5G is coming and it’s coming big. Patrick Waldemar, VP of research Telenor, thank you for coming to Lørn and teaching us about the future of networks. 

 

Patrick: Thank you. 

 

Silvija: Thank you for listening. 

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