tv CE Os Discuss 5G Technology Uses CSPAN October 11, 2021 5:55pm-6:29pm EDT
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tech media and telecoms in london for bloomberg. today, it's a good pairing. we are collaborating on using 5g in a class in essex, which i believe is the first of its kind in the u.k.. perhaps a good place to kick off on things we can learn from this is maybe you can tell us a bit about the work you are doing together for 5g and manufacturing for electric vehicle battery workshops. if you would be kind enough to kick off and explain specifically what to do and how to use it. >> we are trying out the new technology we are going to need to make electric vehicles. specifically the motors and the batteries that we will use. you can already see we are doing
that in the majority of the parts of those vehicles are coming from our north american associate. but over the course of the next for years we are going to be rapidly expanding within europe to do the same thing. and that gives us a real opportunity to plan the future. this future is now. it's a long time opportunity. we have gone from having transmission plants, and they are going to decline as people migrate from those types of vehicles to build the parts for electrification. that means we have this worn off opportunity to change all of our plants over. as we do that, we need to think about what technology we need. one of those key technologies is
wireless connectivity. it's typically a very hardwired environmental moment. we talked about going through this really constrictive -- and how you make things. 5g is probably -- in terms of the top 10 we produce. this is a collaboration project. we have another -- a number of other partners to introduce those mobile private networks into the child pilot facility. and we are trying out the 10 r.g.. we are one year and and have another year to go. >> could you give us examples of what you do. letting robots talk to each other? what are you doing? >> we don't necessarily
understand this technology. we knew all the factories all over europe we would use this technology for making electric motors. and we are going to use a lot of laser welding. we are going to use it very specifically but it's not something many people have done. there are a few experts throughout the world who can help us with that. but we need them on the shop floor. we want to use 5g to make it on the floor. that could be getting all the data from the machine. so a very data rich machine and data coming out of the machine. it could be about transforming that data to where they can interrogate it and help us with what's going on. or it could be reality where people are wearing headsets and getting help directly from those people who may be elsewhere with
one of our partners. a place stack with the best welding experts. they are an hour and a half away the -- when we start building parts all over europe and having them available will be a massive asset to us. a great opportunity to use that technology. sec. mayorkas: fantastic -- tom: fantastic, thank you. what are you learning about 5g's usefulness for manufacturing and enterprise? what do you know now that you did not know a year ago? 3 first, i want to acknowledge
chris and thank you for his collaboration and a factory in essex. it is a great example of how 5g has been tested in a real environment. some of the things we are learning is that one, it is a journey. we are learning about the power of the technology and some of the practical challenges we have to deal with which we know can deliver superior --. i putting it in a live environment and putting it into workflows is an experience that we will all benefit from. specifically, what we are doing with ford and other manufacturing companies as well, and the learning in each of these situations is feeding into each other.
a really important thing we knew going in but the ecosystem, it is not just about ford and us working together. it is working with the equipment manufacturers. it is working with a whole range of new devices. and the number of choices -- maybe, two years ago it was not that much. it increases to grow. and how you integrate all of these different sensors and devices into workflows and make sure they all work within a factory environment is a big learning curve. pulling the ecosystem together is probably the biggest learning. and we are also finding that yes, it is about the flexibility of 5g allowing robots, multipurpose machines, all working.
equally, within this environment, each customer has the need for a customized product. but how do you work with a reconfigurable set of solutions? there is a whole commercial angle that we are discovering. how we design our products and the solutions is at the other end of the 5g technology. how do you make it commercially viable so it can be deployed at scale? those are some of the lessons. tom: it really seems like 5g is a team sports. you need a lot of different companies playing together for cloud computing, ai -- we are seeing a lot of those partnerships. you hit on my next question at the end.
i'm quite interested in what kind of benefit 5g might yield on the bottom line when it comes to cost efficiency or even other wraparound benefits like security? vinod: i can start and chris can add a lot to it, i am sure. firstly, i would say this is the early stage of the journey. at this point, and i speak to global cios almost every we can get their feedback on the technology. and the interests -- the understanding of the power of the technology is that now it is about implementing it and we are involved in full-scale deployment in limited environments. our research shows only 30% of the organizations are actually making use of the technology.
however, of those using the technology, 60% are confirming that they are realizing benefits. it is one thing to keep in mind. the other important commercial angle is today, there is still a little in the diy mode or customized mode and that is quite natural in the early stage of the technology. quite often, especially for mid to smaller size to businesses, they have a clear idea of the best use case. that might not be enough justification for them. so, all of them are asking -- do you have a library of other made solutions that we could add to the use case that we have already identified to get the best use case with a reasonable payback so we can deploy it? a lot of the work we are doing is trying to see how we can --
what is customized for a business well remain to them but there are other elements that could be transferred across industries and customers. i would say this is an important aspect. focusing on the technology is important. the power of the technology, there is no question. it is magic. it can bring many dreams that we have all thought about to life. but the commercial viability is something that also has to be worked on. tom: what are you saying in terms of what you could not do before or processes that could work faster, chris? chris: i came to this with a fairly basic requirement which is, as i mentioned, our facilities have always required this hardwiring of every machine that we have got to a network so
we can understand in great detail about what is going on. the reason we do that is because we have to have an understanding of what is a very complex picture, what is happening in our factory. no more so than when we launched the facility. everyone's business page is followed. people measure fastidiously when things mess out. we realize this is an important time. we need to understand exactly what is going on. unfortunately, often when you peel back what is going on in the launches, it is the lack of clear data coming from the shop floor because the network takes a long time to build. we often are not alone. car companies are building facilities without being able to
understand what is going on. so having immediately available data the minute you wheeled the machine into the factory because it has got great wireless connectivity will be amazing for us. that would just be perfect. that was the going in point before i even got to -- this has great latency or the ability to capture more data then we would normally want. it is very much about building up the expectation, all these other things you can get. if i said it was just to take away today's wire network or even a wi-fi network if we got it to work as well as this in a car, but is not going to cut it in terms of the investment that is needed for the network. you need to have all of these other business cases built up. those are the things -- now, we
are seeing great opportunities. we imagine the data we can get from the welding process and the number of welds that go into an electric vehicle is phenomenal. it is absolutely vital we capture that data and hold it so we understand the great picture of reliable vehicles. this technology enables that and it is high definition data so it is pictures, many times over per day. we capture all of that data. in some cases, we want to take that away and manipulate that with artificial intelligence so that is using computing somewhere else. that gets into edge and those kinds of things.
it mushrooms. the mistake people make is what is the business case for the 5g? it is a fantastic enabler for all those things. vinod: if i could give an example of health care -- from health care we are finding a lot of interest in the health care space, very topical these days given the strain the health care systems have been through. everything from having connected hospitals, tracking patients throughout. starting with the operating room where they had surgery. to the room where they rest and recover. tracking their vitals and making sure they are getting the support they need if there is an emergency. this is an application that is being translated now in germany. in hospital, i did not realize it, but there are tens of millions of euros or pounds or
whatever currency of equipment that gets misplaced. just tracking that alone would justify that but in a hospital environment, everything has to be very disciplined. so 5g placed is a great use case. surgery is no longer a figure of imagination pure we have tested in multiple countries. even before you get there, because there are regulations that have to be worked through and patient consent, assisted surgery where you have a remote specialist guiding a surgeon sitting in another country or city get through a complex surgery is something that is happening today using 5g networks. there are some very powerful use cases. once they start the journey,
there are other things that can be added on given the latency, the state of conductivity as well as the security that 5g offers. tom: if i can bring up perhaps the rather begich and blunt question that many people have about 5g and perhaps this is not firstly, vodafone and its rivals, you are all investing billions into 5g with the airwaves and the equipment and developing the applications. when our investors going to be able to have some confidence about these business models? chris just said it is not a business model in and of itself but it lets various others mushroom out with what it enables. what would you say to that point when you see investors getting frustrated? vinod: if 5g was just being rolled out on its own without a
demonstration of the use cases like we are doing, as an investor -- the clear test is what are you building on top of 5g? are you enabling your 5g network infrastructure easy accessibility? so they can enable the 5g benefits into workflows and other solutions? for me, that -- maybe i am biased because we are doing it, but i think that is the test. consumers are not going to pay more for 5g just because you have 5g. your experience of downloading a netflix film will be much better but will you pay more for it? some well, some will not pure gamers will but business customers are beginning to see that 5g combined with technologies like edge bring alive the power of ar/vr, mixed
reality and they're willing to pay for that but we need to show the business outcomes. like chris said, it is not 5g for the sake of 5g. fantastic that it offers mobility but what can you do with mobility on a shopfloor? that is what investor should be testing us for. tom: ok, the 5g factory in june was announced. it has been an unusual year. what has been the effect of the pandemic on your project? chris: yes, of course. so, i think actually, not so much. there are a few people that are quite skeptical that we would get done what we have gotten done. but we delivered the network pretty much on time. some small delays, obviously. we needed people to come to the
u.k. to install it. so we lost a little bit of time. but surprisingly, a lot of the commissioning can be done remotely. many times, things are going on without anyone being there. which is great. the teams have been fantastic. we kept working almost throughout. there are some other things we have been doing in and around the pandemic. and they took priority. so we built ventilators for nh ns. we built machines in the building where we have the 5g network now. those things ok bit of a priority. but then we were back on track with our business. the system itself has pretty much run to plan. we are where we want to be cared this year is now about testing the facility and the equipment we have there.
but remote working is really important. i suppose the keeping -- the good thing about the pandemic is that it has taught us a lot about what we are doing now, talking like this, but how -- a challenge we did was a great example of that. we built all of those ventilators with a very small company who made a fraction of that number of ventilators normally. we needed their expertise. they were tied onto the production line where we needed support. during the test process, there were all sorts of questions that came up and we needed support. we need it hit -- we used headsets to get their help.
we quickly learned the limitations of wi-fi. it is a little bit patchy. one or two headsets were fine but a factory full of them would've been a disaster. in those sorts of scenarios, 5g will be so much better. that opportunity to have that seamless connection with someone else on what is really vital work, that will be really stunning. tom: it sounds like you were able to repurpose the facility very quickly as well. chris: yes. the masks were done in that building. we had a separate facility where we repurposed in less then a month and we were up and running. it was a fantastic achievement by the whole consortium. tom: amazing. vinod, looking forward five
years or so when 5g projects may have matured a bit more, it is more widespread or maybe it is even paying for itself in some sense. how do you feel the role will have changed from how people understand it today? today, people may see it as a pipe for conductivity. will it be a different kind of actor in a few years' time? vinod: definitely. being a pipe for conductivity is vital for all of the things that happen on top of that so we should never underestimate the value of the pipe. however, with 5g, we need to think about this not only on a standalone basis. but on what goes around it and what is connected. we are very much focused on how we make the conductivity player
integrated into the edge, for example. how do you make the data extracted available to customers in a way that it is user-friendly and can be used either by the customer or their partners or, in the case where they choose to expose the data, third parties? what does this mean? i believe we will not just be offering 5g conductivity. we will be offering private networks at our public and private which means you need the knowledge of an operator because -- there are certain applications that are purely private. and they are for hybrid applications. the customer will use it in the private environment and then have it traverse and work as effectively on the public network. and in those cases, there is already a telco from an operator that has that expertise that can offer that seamlessly. that is one thing.
the second thing is that we will have morphed into being a platform provider so applications can have down the line conductivity. and selectively at vodafone, we plan to move into vertical applications. an example, worker safety and remote solutions, workers can work in a mine, a factory, a port, in a warehouse. there is no need for our customers to go and build that solution. we will have components like that available to use. we see the. -- we see this as an opportunity to go beyond being a pipe provider. tom: this is why vodafone plans to hide software and -- to higher software engineers -- to hire software engineers. uber were streaming youtube on
the train, this is an opportunity for the telcos to get in on the ground floor and help develop those applications. vinod: that is one of the reasons why we are hiring software developers. in addition to that, it is also about becoming more self-sufficient when it comes to creating services in order to create unique i.t. but also make sure we are doing it at the right cost and get it out quickly rather than depending on third parties to do that. second is networks are moving to be more software driven. that is important that we are knowledgeable on how to configure and develop software. many of these instances include
offering stacked solutions. tom: fantastic. one question that was submitted by our audience and also chris very briefly alluded to earlier was the role that ai can play on top of 5g in private networks and how that could add a lot of value. chris, if you could speak about that specific example? chris: yes. if we take the images of welds where we have machines that are starting to our measuring how they are behaving over the whole factory, kind of asking people to understand that data and interpret it, that will become really impractical. so it is really important actually that we have ai looking at data to highlight anomalies
for us to react to peer and at the moment, a lot of that computing is done at the shop floor and computers are on every machine. it is not manageable and it is low-quality computing. in order to get that to a place quickly using 5g where we can put real high quality level of computing around them, with a clever management around it, that is really important to us. that is a really exciting feature for us. we are starting work with the partners, lancaster university is making some of the data that we put in the cloud to see what the possibilities are. vinod: if i could build on that. the sheer volume of data that will come out of the 5g applications is going to be humanly impossible to process them and to effectively use that
volume of data and that is where ai comes in and there are many applications. quite often, it is feeding the human enough information so the human can make the final decision. i will give you an example of surgery. we are working with a company in spain now that has technology for surgery but also for training doctors while they are doing operations. the 5g network is capturing huge volumes of data and sending it to high-performance computers and comparing it with tens of thousands of other similar observations that have been done and giving the best choice to the doctor on where to make the next incision. that can only be done with ai coupled with the speed of 5g networks and a lot of other visual recognition technology
and so on. ai is assisting humans as well as certain applications that the machine will do the pattern recognition and make choices on its own. tom: great. i think we are, unfortunately, basically out of time. there are a few more questions i would've loved to ask and i would love an update on how this is going and when things start coming off the line, please call me. thank you very much for your time, chris, vinod, and i hope it was interesting for everyone watching. >> this week, on the c-span networks, the senate will be out after passing an agreement that would lift the debt ceiling through early december. the house will meet on tuesday to vote on the measure. the supreme court will hear oral arguments through several cases throughout the week. you can hear all of that on c-span.org. among the cases include
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