Home5GNokia, Telia marry 5G and AI in pollution pilot, as Nordic leaders rally around green tech

Nokia, Telia marry 5G and AI in pollution pilot, as Nordic leaders rally around green tech

Finnish telecoms duo Nokia and Telia have equipped 5G-connected drones with computer vision technology to monitor environmental conditions in the Baltic Sea. A pilot solution is being used to track levels of potentially toxic blue-green algae. It may be expanded for additional environmental monitoring, such as tracking plastic waste or locating oil leaks, they said.

The vendor and operator have joined a project coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE. Finnish firms Vaisala and Nordkapp, developer of and consultancy for environmental solutions respectively. are also involved. The trials have taken place off the coast of Kirkkonummi, in Finland.

It comes as an alliance of business leaders from key Nordic corporations, including Nokia and Telia, met with Prime Ministers of the five Nordic countries in Reykjavik, in Iceland, under the moniker of The Nordic CEOs for a Sustainable Future, to thrash out a collaborative approach to addressing sustainability challenges.

Business chiefs, also from Swedish operator Telenor and the GSMA, among others, presented strategies to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), set out by the UN and ratified by its member states in 2015 as a plan to end poverty, protect the planet, and deliver peace. 

A recent index of countries’ progress against the SDGs makes for grim reading. No country is on track to achieve the targets, which include targets for clean energy (goal 7), industry and innovation (goal 10), and sustainable cities (goal 11), among others. 

Solutions are invariably informed by the deployment of the latest digital technologies. The Nordic CEOs’ strategies focus on greater public-private sector collaboration to identify scalable solutions, including technology solutions, for accelerating the reduction of carbon emissions.

Nokia chief executive Rajeev Suri commented: “The Nordic nations are respected around the world for two things: business innovation and strong social systems. We can combine those two qualities through public-private partnerships, and, in doing so, meet the SDGs. 

“By working closely together, business and governments can harness the advances of the fourth industrial revolution to fight climate change and make workplaces more diverse. No less than the futures of our children and grandchildren are at stake – let’s collaborate now and start solving those challenges.”

Nokia’s drone pilot with Telia seeks to harness low-latency 5G connectivity and advanced AI-based computer vision technology to deliver real-time video analysis of blue-green algae around Kirkkonummi, in Finland.

Jari Silander at SYKE explained: “Blue-green algae monitoring is based on multiple sources of information, including satellite imagery and automated chlorophyll measurements from ferries sailing the Baltic Sea. This data is combined with local visual observations made at the shoreline. 

“In the trial in Kirkkonummi, the drones operated over a wide area outside the line of sight, and the information was transferred in real time to computer vision. Under good conditions, computer vision detected blue-green algae with over 90 percent accuracy.”

Pia Tanskanen, head of environment at Nokia, commented: ”5G technology has proved to be excellent in providing detailed and accurate real-time data for computer vision, something that can be used in a variety of different areas. This trial shows how 5G can make a real positive impact on what we can do for our environment.”

Janne Koistinen, 5G programme lead at Telia Finland, said: “5G, with its low latency and greater capacity, has already proven its usefulness in video analytics in industrial solutions. It is also excellent for drone management and communication, with the projected growth of drone traffic.”

The Nordic CEOs for a Sustainable Future was created in 2018 to inspire joint leadership and action towards delivery of the SDGs in the Nordic region. The industry leaders in the group represent companies with a collective annual turnover of around €110 billion, and employ around 290,000 people around the world.

Others in the group are Equinor, Hydro, Íslandsbanki, Marel, Posten Norge, SAS, Storebrand Group, Swedbank, Vestas and Yara International.

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