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5G – An evolution or revolution?

Interview with Milan Rao, President – Marketing, Innovation & Technology and Global Head – Communications & Manufacturing Business Units at Wipro Limited

  5G represents an entirely new generation of telecommunications technology that is a revolutionary leap over previous mobile technologies. 5G – with its impressive speeds, fewer latency issues, and increased reliability —is set to surpass 3G and 4G many times over, enabling a remarkable array of offerings. 5G represents, for the first time in cellular technology development, a shift in focus from consumer handsets to addressing the networking needs of a much larger group of wireless devices.

 This technology will help to strengthen the relationship between consumers and the networks on which their devices operate. In turn, we will bear witness to previously unseen advancements, strengthening the interconnectedness of society in a wide range of emerging spaces.

 The strengths of this technology can be shown by 5G’s ability to enable consumers to download or share hours of video in seconds; 5G allows for clear and lag-free video calls, also the use of games with advanced graphics in real time. Whether 5G is an evolution of existing technological concepts or a revolutionary development in its own right will be an important distinction as time goes on.

 Milan Rao, President of Wipro Limited, hails 5G as having revolutionary potential through its promise of an incomparable consumer experience. However, he is quick to note that the uptake and use of this new system will be an evolution of existing 4G technology, with both systems co-existing until a complete turnover. This will be possible through the common characteristics of both technologies which serve as an operational foundation until the changeover is possible.

 5G, when fully realized, will enable unparalleled connectivity between people and devices with the help of extremely low-latency resilient networks that will allow the Internet of Things (IoT), industrial automation and technologies such as Augmented Reality to deliver their maximum potential.

 Turning the potential into reality

 Almost every single company in the world is going to be involved in 5G in some capacity. Companies across various industries such as Manufacturing, Governance and Media, along with Energy and Utilities, will be able to leverage 5G connectivity to create differentiators.

 Milan outlines three primary areas that will enable companies to make the potential of 5G a reality:

  1. Intelligence 

Companies will need to explore the many different possibilities for 5G within IoT as a platform. For example, the potential for 5G to be applied to existing technologies like automation and AI. 

Wipro is already considering how 5G will provide a platform for enabling critical areas of intelligence such as connected vehicles, healthcare and smart cities. Wipro HOLMES, the company’s proprietary AI platform is currently being leveraged to build smart digital networks that support 5G technology. 

  1. Reliability and Speed

The reliability of 5G is supported by the high speeds that 5G networks can achieve and the ability of the network to transport vast amounts of data over an incredibly short period of time.  Furthermore, billions have been spent on 5G network investments, while standardization efforts provide a solid basis, allowing a smooth evolution from 4G to 5G. One major difference with 5G is that it will use multiple frequencies in several frequency bands, supporting high-capacity networks and comprehensive coverage in urban and rural areas as well as indoor buildings. 

  1. Security 

With the connectivity offered by 5G, there will be an increase in the use of IoT devices and industrial control systems, heightening their vulnerability to phishing, ransomware and crypto mining. With the incredible amount of data currently being generated, security will be an important concern. 

Shaping the 5G agenda for the CXO 

5G is a global agenda, the World Economic Forum sees 5G as the “key to driving a new wave of digital transformation that will unleash innovation and added value across the economic spectrum in the years to come”. Its three priorities in this regard are universal connectivity, radically decentralized cloud-based edge computing, and a massive increase in data collection capabilities to facilitate next-generation smart systems. 

All this can only become a possibility if CXOs, and in particular CIOs, see 5G as something beyond the world of telecommunications or service providers. At its core, 5G represents a fundamental shift in technology that will impact the way we see and experience the world; it has incredible implications for businesses across multiple industries. As a result, executives should consider the impact it will have on their companies, business models and customer journeys. A strong and diversified cross-industry partner ecosystem is crucial to the success of 5G. 

So, to make the most of 5G and to ensure that their companies do not fall behind, CXOs and CIOs should examine the impact caused by 5G – increased speed, improved latency and improved reliability – consider what this technology could do for them in three years and map out ways to act on it today. 

About Wipro Limited:

Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO) is a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company. We harness the power of cognitive computing, hyper-automation, robotics, cloud, analytics and emerging technologies to help our clients adapt to the digital world and make them successful. A company recognized globally for its comprehensive portfolio of services, strong commitment to sustainability and good corporate citizenship, we have over 175,000 dedicated employees serving clients across six continents. Together, we discover ideas and connect the dots to build a better and a bold new future.