5G will likely transform our lives, economy and society. 5G networks will have to be programmable, software driven and managed holistically to enable a diverse and profitable range of services. Here, Randeep Raina, CTO, Nokia India, tells us more. Excerpts:
V&D: What will change under 5G?
Randeep Raina: 5G is the new generation of radio systems and network architecture that will deliver extreme broadband, ultra-robust, low latency connectivity and massive networking for human beings and the Internet of Things.
Enabled by 5G, the programmable world will transform our individual lives, economy and society. It sounds like a bold claim but the reality is starting to take shape as 5G research pushes ahead to make rapid developments.
5G will be far more than just a new radio technology. It will combine existing Radio Access Technologies (RATs) in both licensed and unlicensed bands, and it will add novel RATs optimized for specific bands and deployments, scenarios and use cases.
5G will also implement a radically new network architecture based on network function virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) technologies.
Programmability will be central to achieving the hyper-flexibility that operators will need to support the new communications demands placed on them from a wide array of users, machines, companies from different industries and other organizations such as municipalities.
5G networks will have to be programmable, software driven and managed holistically to enable a diverse and profitable range of services. 5G is a door opener for new possibilities and use cases, many of which are as yet unknown.
Nokia and the wider telecommunications industry are already well along the road to 5G. With 45 commercial 5G agreements, powering 9 5G New Radio live networks, and over 100 engagements, and growing, Nokia has the e2e portfolio.
V&D: What should be the approach toward security for 5G?
Randeep Raina: 5G security aspects are being covered under 3GPP TS 33.501 (5G security) and 3GPP TS 33.401 (LTE security with 5G enhancements on dual connectivity) as part of the Rel’15 which has been provided baseline for the security infrastructure for 5G networks. Further enhancements are planned with Rel’16 in 2020 timeframe.
3GPP and ETSI have taken firm actions towards addressing 5G security concerns. As long as products coming to India are compliant to 3GPP and ETSI standard and have Type Approval secured from these bodies, there shouldn’t be any undue haste in making Indian-specific security testing, as this may delay the 5G introduction. India’s testing infrastructure takes its due course in building up necessary tools and resource competence. Most global leaders are relying on these established type approvals for the introduction of new technology and products.
Building and maintaining security testing setup requires significant investment and time. Under no circumstances, we should overburden the 5G security specifications/standards to delay our 5G aspirations and put us behind in the global 5G race.
Nokia follows a strict ‘design for security’ process and we have a long-held commitment to the highest standards in network security. Regardless of geographical location where Nokia’s products and services are manufactured or made, the same criteria are applied to ensure security and integrity, and a central team at our international headquarters verifies security status and compliance.
We further strengthened our commitment to network security by unveiling an enhanced security program and establishing an advanced security testing and verification laboratory at Nokia Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ. DFSEC 2.0 is an enhanced security program specifically designed to address the critical security needs of 5G wide area networks.
V&D: How can India look to boost manufacturing using 5G?
Randeep Raina: The fourth stage of the Industrial Revolution, also termed “Industry 4.0”, is the next era in industrial production, aiming at significantly improving the flexibility, versatility, usability and efficiency of future smart factories.
Industry 4.0 integrates the Internet of Things (IoT) and related services in industrial manufacturing, and delivers seamless vertical and horizontal integration down the entire value chain and across all layers of the automation pyramid.
Connectivity is a key component of Industry 4.0 and will support the ongoing developments by providing powerful and pervasive connectivity between machines, people and objects.
One of the most important enablers of the smart factory of the future will be vastly increased connectivity that will link machines, processes, robots and people to create more flexible and more dynamic production capabilities. About 90 percent of industrial connectivity today uses wired connections, which provide the high performance and reliability needed for automation, but lack flexibility to be able to rapidly meet changing production demands.
5G is the first wireless technology with the high throughput, low latency and extreme reliability that can replace wireline connectivity in the factory. Effectively, 5G is a drop-in replacement for today’s wired networks. Wireless connectivity allows additional machines to be connected by simply equipping them with wireless sensors and actuators and if required, scaling the network capacity to handle new traffic.
Nokia’s state-of-the-art manufacturing unit in Chennai is the first factory in India to start manufacturing 5G New Radio based on the 3GPP 5G New Radio Release 15 standard. The Chennai plant is one of the largest telecom equipment manufacturing plant in the country, recently reaching the 4 million unit annual production milestone of 2G, 3G and 4G units. It serves both domestic as well as global customers, shipping to over 100 countries.
As part of an on-going program, known as the ‘Conscious factory’, the Nokia Chennai plant recently implemented the first ‘real-world’ Smart Manufacturing application of Industry 4.0 in India leveraging solutions such as Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR), connected Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, and Internet of Things to enhance operations and increase productivity.