El discurso de Stephan Richard sobre la 5G

The road to 5G or the future of internet

Good morning,
It is a great honor for me to be in front of you today to talk about nothing less than our common future in wireless technology, 5G! It is not for tomorrow or next week. Probably 2020 or 2022. But to quote Isaac Asimov: “No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” Therefore, I truly believe that understanding what we want for the future and anticipating digital’s multiple impacts will help us, operators, conceive and build the best possible 5G network. So this is what I want to address today, in the form of three basic questions:
First, 5G what for?
Second, what changes will it bring to our ecosystem?
Third, how to get there efficiently?

(i)What for exactly?

Since the very beginning of telecommunications in 19th century, with the telegraph, and then the 20th century with the telephone, we have gradually connected human beings across all the continents of the globe. The end of the 20th century, with the emergence of the Web and then its evolution towards mobile internet, has allowed connecting human beings with an extraordinary large offer of digital applications and services.
Internet has now become a basic need for an increasing number of people, especially the younger ones. This is why connectivity is so important for our customers and will be more and more vital in the future. This is why we are currently focusing on deploying 4G and its evolutions in as many markets as possible. To respond to our customers increasing data and speed needs.

But 5G will have a greater and different purpose. It will support the rise of the connected objects era. The numbers in that matter are already significant. By 2020, according to the different estimates, 30 to 50 billion objects will be connected to the Internet. It is a complete change of scale, as the cost of the chipsets and connectivity decreases, the numbers are forecasted to grow exponentially. We are at the dawn of a new type of Internet, the Internet of things that will connect at massive scale human beings, digital services and all sorts of objects.

5G will be the key to this new world. It will have to meet our expectations, especially in three areas:

First of all, the opportunity to continuously enhance quality of customer experience. Indeed, 5G will offer our customers a seamless and consistent connectivity at any time, any location, in mobility, including in public transportation (like high speed train or airplane), in crowded areas like stadiums. With 5G, new services, uniquely enabled by this technology will be delivered, like enhanced IoT – we are talking here of sensors with 15 years battery lifetime! - Business Critical Applications requiring ultra-reliable networks (including public safety), quasi-real time or low latency applications such as assisted driving. As well as all the future usages and services that are still unknown.

Second, 5G will also provide a step change in terms of energy consumption and cost. In the future, 5G could help to reach the 2 billion of men and women currently not connected to the Internet - especially in Africa where Orange is a major player and innovates in many fields.

Third, 5G will also offer more flexibility with the generalization of Software Defined Networks. Today, our networks are based on dedicated equipment: it is the only way that we can deal with the always increasing bandwidth of the global Internet.

But, with the progress of the computing power of the hardware, and the progress of the software technology, we will be able to have truly “programmable networks” accessible via APIs. This will make our networks much more like today’s Cloud and, as a result, this will allow networks to be a much more agile platform for innovation.

(ii) So concretely, what are the changes this ambient internet will bring to our ecosystem and to the world?

Ironically, the omnipresence of the internet will contribute to give technology a more human aspect. Let me explain this. The Internet will “sense” better the real world, our everyday lives. Through sensors and probes attached to the connected objects, applications and services will be able to capture and understand specific situations of the physical world. Applications and services will become more aware, more relevant. Also, the Internet will interact with objects and actually DO things and allow objects to act with each other.
For example, autonomous cars will communicate between themselves or with the roadside in order to prevent accidents, they will interact with “parking lots” in order to drive to the next available parking, and they will make sure that the gas or the electric recharching stations deliver the right nature and quantity of energy. Connected devices, applications and services will not stay in the virtual space anymore. It will be possible to “remote control” everything: heating system at home, connected cars, surgery, watering systems in our gardens... This is going to be life-changing.

It will be our role, as operators, to use these amazing opportunities to offer an unprecedented customer experience by facilitating the adoption of these new usages.

In addition, 5G will help us shape a greener world. Considering there will be up to 50 billion connected devices by 2020, building a low-cost, low energy consumption networks is vital. 5G network infrastructure will be conceived to maximize energy savings in all its components: from hardware to air interface design. Operators will make sure to look at energy consumption optimization with an end-to-end perspective from access networks to data centres through transport networks. Today, our global energy consumption does not change significantly when there is a lot of traffic or when there is no traffic at all.
Our vision is that data centres, networks and connected devices should not be consuming energy when there is no traffic. It is already a subject of concern for us of course, but what I mean is that 5G will be though and conceived to achieve this purpose; Green will be part of its DNA.
(iii) So how do we get to 5G? What has to be done to accomplish it successfully?
First, let me say that we must not jump too fast into the next generation of networks. 4G LTE has been conceived to go along relevantly with the usages of the next coming years and is a tremendous popular success everywhere. Let’s enjoy 4G/LTE !
5G will be a real industrial project. This means that it has to be launched at a perfect timing in order to ignite what will be the IoT revolution. I will make sure our Group has a leading role in the development of 5G. We are already deeply involved as an active member of NGMN [Next Generation Mobile Networks] Alliance who will issue its 5G vision paper later today, detailing its requirements for 5G. We strongly committed to the 5G PPP initiated with the European Commission, launching this year a new set of exciting R&D projects, for which 5G technology will have to meet demanding requirements.
These partnerships with other operators, device manufacturers, are relevant initiatives to ensure that we all go in the same direction, with the best scientists and academics on board, with the same objective: conveying on a system that can be developed by the industry.
There is no doubt that we need to prepare today for the 2020 & beyond challenges, in order to design together the new horizon of this Internet of things era. In ten years from now, telecom and IT will be integrated towards a common very high capacity ubiquitous infrastructure, with converging capabilities for both fixed and mobile accesses. Networks will become true innovation platforms, agile and flexible and will give birth to what can be called the Internet of Everything!
I am delighted that Orange is so intricately linked to these developments that will shape our future.
Thank you very much.

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