On April 26th, Orange and Nokia took a big step forward to making 5G a commercial reality by launching a dedicated innovation platform to accelerate the development of 5G services for vertical industries in France and across Europe.
5G will play a key role to enable the Fourth Industrial Revolution, also known as the “automation of everything”, where computers and automation will come together in an entirely new way and give rise to the “smart factory”. Robotics will connect remotely to computer systems equipped with machine learning algorithms that can learn and control the robotics with very little input from human operators.
But we all know that 5G standards are not fully finalized. So, in the meantime, the telecom industry needs to prove already today what the benefits of 5G can be through creative and innovative emulation. For example, the control and remote operations of complex machines, the automation of everything, the real-time monitoring of industrial processes and the intelligent use of cameras are just a few of the new use cases that can be tested on this innovation platform.
According to Alain Maloberti, Senior Vice-President Orange Labs Networks:
“Networks are the foundation of the digital revolution, and Orange has placed the quality of the customer experience at the center of its strategic plan and strategy for the design, deployment and transformation of its networks. And this customer focused vision is also at the heart of our approach to design the future 5G network. This new technology is very promising for the general public and enterprises. Thanks to Nokia expertise, the 5G network we prepare will natively address vertical industries’ specific needs.”
Orange and Nokia are working closely with Orange Business Services teams to select and prioritize the use cases with a full ecosystem of partners, which will address the specific needs of various industries in 4G and stepwise to 5G. During the inauguration, the first use case demonstrated Video Analytics for crowd density estimation:
Thanks to video analytics generated in real-time in a Sodexo managed company restaurant, the application estimates the queue time and alerts the user before he/she leaves for the restaurant.
Likewise, in case of congestion, the restaurant supervisor can be alerted when additional cashiers are needed to improve the flow. The video analytics are aggregated on a Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) server in the local campus using wireless 4.5G cameras in the restaurant, which estimate the number of people and the geo fencing in real time. Thanks to MEC, we can keep video feed local, enabling confidentiality, low latency and avoid charging the transport network. And this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of video analytics, which could be used for campus security, smoke detection, suspicious crowd behavior, etc.
5G will further enhance uses cases like this with true real time reliability thanks to the network slice dedicated to such usage and the capacity to handle more video feeds in the same coverage area.
The innovation platform is supported by strong R&D skills from both Nokia and Orange teams and relies on Nokia end-to-end solutions that will serve different use cases first in 4.5G MEC, then 4.9G and ultimately 5G. According to Thierry Balouka, Head of Orange global customer team at Nokia, the focus will be on testing 5G applications for various industry segments and measure the benefits of extremely low latency and very high speeds. Beyond the expected technical results, our joint platform also demonstrates how a true innovation partner ecosystem will work to enable the 4th Industrial Revolution.
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