Nokia CEO calls for the Fourth Industrial Revolution to be green
5G linked to increased economic productivity, industrial efficiencies and operator sustainability, Nokia CEO says
Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri has regularly discussed how 5G can enable the digitalization that underpins the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In keeping with the theme of the recent World Economic Forum–“Stakeholders for a cohesive and sustainable world”–Suri made clear the “reality” of climate change and characterized 5G as having “the power to make our society far more sustainable through a triple whammy of revolutions: in our economies, our industries and our connectivity.”
In a Jan. 17 WEF blog post, Suri said 5G can lift global economies by sparking a huge increase in productivity. He said the digitalization of verticals like healthcare, transportation and energy, for instance, can use 5G and adjacent technologies like artificial intelligence to increase productivity from by 30% to 35% in the 2028 timeframe with the U.S., China and India leading the way. As it relates to sustainability, increases in productivity will be used to offset the investments needed for green initiatives.
On the industrial front, Suri gave the example of the agricultural sector using connected tech to simultaneously increase yield and decrease waste. Citing work Nokia did with an Algerian peach farmer, Suri said sensor data and machine learning-based data analysis quickly helped the farming operation reduce water use by 40% and increase revenue by 5%. Broadly apply that same paradigm to other verticals and, “Huge gains. Across all sectors.”
When it comes to connectivity, this one is relatively straightforward. As Suri put it, “5G is natively green,” in that it reduces the energy carriers use to essentially manufacture bits of data. This gives operators headroom, and network technology needed, to spin up more and better enterprise-facing services that continue the virtuous cycle of value creation. “That is the path to growth for those operators, and to greater productivity and sustainability for enterprises.”
But achieving this outcome, Suri wrote, will buy-in and collaboration from government and public and private sector stakeholders. “It will require investment…it will require upheaval. But I firmly believe–and the data clearly shows–that Industry 4.0, cultivated in the right way, can, for the first time in human history, boost economic growth while diminishing our environmental impact.”