Leveraging digital infrastructure to spur on economic recovery

August 11, 2020 | 13:23
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Networks are as important to nations as roads and electric grids and airports – and the pandemic stands testimony to this. Denis Brunetti, president of Ericsson Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos, talked with VIR’s Bich Thuy how 5G and digital infrastructure can trigger next phase of growth in Vietnam.
1504p13 leveraging digital infrastructure to spur on economic recovery
Denis Brunetti, president of Ericsson Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos

Looking beyond the pandemic, many countries would like to kickstart their economies with investments in innovation. How can 5G and Industry 4.0 spur the new digital economy in Vietnam?

The promise of 5G and Industry 4.0 includes creating jobs and improving and expanding access to healthcare. It will also help reduce carbon emissions, improve education, and raise the quality of life around the world. In a research with Imperial College London, we proved that the deployment of mobile broadband networks spurs economic development as a 10 per cent increase in mobile broadband adoption ratio leads to a 0.8 per cent increase in GDP, with large and rather quick payback.

As did 4G, 5G offers significant advantages to early movers. Ericsson’s advanced and competitive 5G portfolio can provide service providers in Vietnam with 5G solutions to cost-efficiently manage growing data traffic volumes.

5G will also enable Vietnam to unlock the potential of Industry 4.0 and will be the foundation for its digital transformation journey by increasing investments in smart manufacturing capabilities and driving higher, sustainable production and growth.

By wisely focusing on hi-tech, innovation, and embracing Industry 4.0 through 4G narrowband-Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G capabilities, Vietnam is well on its way to creating a digital ecosystem that will attract high-tech foreign investment and drive inclusive and sustainable socioeconomic development. 5G will favourably impact many industries, including manufacturing, agriculture, and retail.

As an example, the growing retail industry will increasingly leverage e-commerce solutions and platforms to reach more customers efficiently and cost effectively, providing improved services and shopping convenience via mobile connectivity. Coupled with Vietnam’s National Innovation Centre initiative, the government’s investment in sustainably growing the nation’s startup ecosystem will also contribute to the establishment of a thriving digital economy leveraging 5G as the enabling platform.

Like many others, Vietnam is taking bold steps to apply digital solutions. How can 5G and digitalisation benefit smart factories?

5G has already gone live in several markets and people are getting a first-hand experience of the technology. At Ericsson, we have already deployed 5G in 54 live networks across the world and we are seeing a rapid uptake. Use cases like smart manufacturing, smart cities, and advanced healthcare applications demonstrate 5G’s potential to transform industries and society at large.

While testing 5G technology, we have adopted it and digitalised Ericsson’s own production operations. With Nordic telecom operator Telia, we have brought automated guided vehicles, augmented reality, and a huge number of sensors to our manufacturing facility in Tallinn of Estonia, via a dedicated cellular network. In the US, our first fully-automated smart factory is powered by Ericsson 5G solutions that support agile operations and flexible production, enabling Industry 4.0.

Another good example is Daimler’s Factory 56 – the world’s first 5G-enabled automobile factory. All production systems and machines in the newly-built facility will be connected and operated via a secure 5G private network built by Telefónica and Ericsson. Private 5G networks like this one are able to provide a high level of security due to the inherent strengths of mobile networks.

For many enterprises, the immediate value of 5G lies not in high speed and low latency. Instead, it is reliability, real-time positioning, security, and privacy – often via network slicing – that matters the most.

Across 10 studied industries, we estimate that digitalisation will generate an addressable opportunity of up to 35 per cent on top of currently available services. By 2025, there will be about 25 billion connected IoT devices and more than 5 billion devices using edge computing.

A number of mobile service providers in Vietnam are preparing for the commercial launch of 5G. How can Ericsson 5G technology support this journey?

As a trusted and long-term strategic partner in Vietnam’s ICT industry, Ericsson is committed to working alongside leading mobile service providers such as Viettel, VNPT, Mobifone, and Vietnamobile to expand 4G network coverage and capacity whilst also preparing for the commercialisation of 5G. Ericsson has been supporting Vietnamese mobile providers with technical 5G trials since 2019, leveraging our technology leadership, strategic partnerships, and expansive 4G base – which can seamlessly be upgraded to 5G capabilities when required.

We are proactively working with mobile service providers to ensure Vietnam is at the forefront of 5G developments, sharing our technical capabilities, market insights, and thought leadership. In addition, Ericsson also recognises the need to lead the market in forging strategic 5G ecosystem partnerships that include cross industry players, bringing them together with mobile service providers to deliver compelling digital transformation engagements.

For instance, Ericsson has teamed up with Telefónica Germany to enable 5G car production via a private network for Mercedes-Benz as digitalisation becomes a reality in car production. We are currently exploring similar opportunities in Vietnam.

Ericsson is working with Vietnam’s mobile network operators to expand 4G IoT capabilities across the country, as well as preparing for future 5G capabilities and the broader IoT ecosystem.

Through our mobile network technology and innovations, Ericsson supports and promotes the government’s vision of leveraging science, technology, and innovation to drive the next wave of socioeconomic development in Vietnam.

By Bich Thuy

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