Everybody in the tech world is talking about 5G. Many say that this new technology will change the way we use the internet and turbocharge the development of new connected technologies. But what are these technologies, exactly? How is 5G technology benefiting us? First, let's look at what 5G delivers today and what it can provide in the future. This cellular network can allow speeds up to 20 times faster than the previous 4G LTE technology it's replacing.
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AI fraud detection applications collect public customer data from across the entire internet to identify who is a real customer, and who may not be. Combined with a financial institution's internal customer data, a high level of accuracy is achieved in spotting fraudulent activities in real-time. Additionally, false flags are reduced. For example, in the past, if a credit card holder swiped their card from the other side of the country, the card ran the risk of being locked by the financial institution. With today's AI tools and predictive analytics, a bank may have access to a customer's geolocation, transaction history such as airline tickets, and social media posts regarding future vacations, preventing false flags, and ultimately, damage to the bank/client relationship.
Verizon and Google announced a joint effort focused on bringing their respective edge computing services to customers via the telecom giant's 5G network. The collaborative offering will combine Verizon 5G Edge with Google Distributed Cloud Edge to offer both compute and storage services. The pair plans to focus on enterprise customers initially, supplying their solutions via Verizon's On Site 5G and 5G Edge platforms. The goal of the joint catalogue of services will be to bring compute, and storage assets "to the edge of the local network enabling the bandwidth and low latency needed to support real-time enterprise applications like autonomous mobile robots, intelligent logistics and factory automation." Verizon and Google made it clear they see this as the first step in a larger edge computing and 5G collaboration that will eventually grow to include additional solutions for enterprises, as well as products specifically aimed at developers wishing to deploy their applications in edge locations throughout the US.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Robotic Process Automation is a technology that configures computer software to capture data and manipulate applications in the way it is done by humans. With RPA telecommunication providers can automate back-end activities such as data entry, reconciliation, or validation, streamline customer support as well as perform cross-sell and up-sell utilizing AI-powered assisted calls. RPA applications allow CSPs to reduce costs, enhance accuracy, improve efficiency and deliver a better customer experience. Intelligent Virtual Agents: Intelligent Virtual Agents based on AI technologies gain traction in the telecommunication sector, resulting in improved customer experience and satisfaction. Telecom providers have turned to virtual assistance to optimize the processing of the huge number of support requests for troubleshooting, billing inquiries, maintenance, device settings, etc. AI-powered assistants handle all service-type questions and process transactions efficiently and at high speed.
The DiTEC (Digital Twin for Evolutionary Changes in water networks) project proposes an evolutionary approach to real-time monitoring of sensor-rich critical infrastructures that detects inconsistency between measured sensor data and the expected situation, and performs real-time model update without needing additional calibration. Deep learning will be applied to create a data-driven simulation of the system. The system is applied to water networks, where, in case of leaks, valve degradation or sensor faults, the model will be adapted to the degraded network until the maintenance takes place, which can take a long time. The project will analyse the effect on data readings of different malfunctions, and construct a mitigating mechanism that allows to continue using the data, albeit in a limited capacity. As part of the DiTEC project, the role of the PhD student will be to analyse historical and real-time sensor data, which includes parameters such as water speed, pressure, quality, network topology, and construct a number of deep learning (such as CNN and LSTM) models to explain and predict the behavior of the network short and long term.
If there is to be a "6G Wireless," its proponents will need to learn some significant lessons from the era of 5G. Already, 5G Wireless as a market strategy is four years old. The R&D divisions of telecommunications firms whose 5G rollouts are well under way, are now looking ahead to whatever the next version of wireless may be. . . So far, what they're seeing may be a bit far out. It's a capital improvement project the size of the entire planet, replacing one wireless architecture created this century with another one that aims to lower energy consumption and maintenance costs. "6G must deliver an outcome that is aligned with real needs," remarked David Lister, Head of 6G Research and Development Technology at Europe's Vodafone Group, "and deliver outcomes that are sustainable and commercially driven." Lister was speaking at an annual conference called the 6G Symposium. Yes, there is already an annual 6G Symposium. Back in 1998, the leading stakeholders in global telecommunications formed the 3GPP consortium, to officially designate which technologies belong to a "G" and which don't.
Five years ago, one of Telenor's top boffins feared that Google, Amazon and Facebook were set to become an unstoppable force in artificial intelligence (AI). "There is a real risk that the most fundamental technology of the 21st century will be dominated by a few large companies, unless we take the necessary steps," said Bjørn Taale Sandberg, the Norwegian telco's head of research. For Telenor, the necessary steps meant investing in its own AI lab and backing the right startups. Conversely, it is hard to see how a strategic partnership with one of the AI bogeymen would produce alternatives to them. But that is what Telenor did five years after Sandberg first warned of an AI oligopoly, announcing a Google Cloud tie-up today. Among other things, it will be "exploring how to leverage" Google's AI expertise.
Shankar Arumugavelu is what you might call a Verizon lifer. He was a director at telecom GTE when Bell Atlantic acquired it in 2000 to form Verizon. Today he's SVP and global CIO of Verizon, where he's helping to drive the company's adoption of emerging technologies like AI and machine learning in service of creating competitive advantage and improving customer experience. "As we look at emerging technologies, AI is a big area of focus," Arumugavelu says. "You have disciplines within AI as well, whether it's NLP or computer vision, robotic process automation, cognitive decisioning, etc. We have work going on across every single one of those disciplines to see how we can leverage that to drive a competitive advantage."