WHAT MAKES CONNECTIVITY MEANINGFUL?

The Investor Greece 2020  I  Telecoms & IT  I  Analysis

5G PROVIDES A BLUEPRINT TOWARDS OUR ALWAYS/EVERYWHERE CONNECTED FUTURE AND LATER THIS YEAR GREECE WILL AUCTION SIGNIFICANT 5G SPECTRUM BANDS IN, I BELIEVE, THE MOST INVESTOR-FRIENDLY MANNER.

Written by Professor Konstantinos Masselos, 

President of Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission

Connectivity leads to complementarity, and if we really want to think of ourselves as parts of a global community, connectivity is about bringing people, ideas, industries, and nations together. This is what makes connectivity meaningful. Always achieving greater co-operations, building bridges and lowering barriers. 

 

The bigger picture in innovation? Innovation is not always about the technologies, it can be about delivering inspired leadership, developing fair policies, or about solving disputes in a way none has ever thought about before. These are the driving forces behind every scientist or engineer trying to squeeze more bits over a given radio-spectrum fragment, ITU harmonizing the telecommunications landscape around the world and the national telecom regulators trying to forward innovation adoption in an economically realistic and socially responsible manner.

 

When it comes to our digital economies and societies, it is probably a little bit of cliché trying to state enough the importance of connectivity. However, understanding the inner workings of modern/complex technology ecosystems is essential for strategizing and promoting connectivity goals, identifying synergies and communicating priorities. Telecoms and computing have always been considered a ‘cooperating dipole’. Moore’s law for example, fueling the semiconductor’s industry race towards multi-billion transistor ICs, phenomenal advances in computational signal processing and now AI, historically pushed in tandem both telecoms and computing to their current status. At the system architecture level, the same stands true. Computing, as a pendulum, has been swinging between its centralized-decentralized extremes for decades, pushing telecoms forward – or, seen in a different angle, telecoms, by making the ‘decentralized swing’ possible have been steadily pushing computing forward instead. 

 

The mainframe of the ‘70s (centralized) the PC of the ‘90s (decentralized), the cloud computing of late 2000’s (centralized) and the edge-computing (decentralized) dynamics of today counted on connectivity on each step of the way. By taking a closer look at this evolutionary swing, a careful observer will notice important spatial differentiations on the deployment profile of these technologies. Mainframe connectivity had to connect your office to the ‘central-office (CO)’ ‘some’ rooms (meters) across the same building. Cloud computing had to connect your office to a Data Center (DC) many km away – all fixed and mostly wired so far. This time, your smartphone, the numerous IoT/smart-city devices, autonomous cars and collaborative robots will need to connect both mm and km across, mostly wirelessly, in a time-deterministic, ultra-dense and gigabit-fast manner. 

 

If the name of the game in computing and telecoms today is (power and cost) efficiency, then ‘connectivity’ is the tool that allows us to meet current and future efficiency targets by enabling us to strike the right balance between what happens locally and what remotely. 

 

Been able to offload computationally intensive parts in the (deep) cloud or utilize computing available at the proximity of our devices (the edge) is a new type of computing and telecom de-centralization swing that ‘paradigm shifts’ our previous understanding of computing and telecoms working together. 5G provides a blueprint towards our always/everywhere connected future and later this year Greece will auction significant 5G spectrum bands in, I believe, the most investor-friendly manner. Greece’s journey to next-gen radio begins on the interestingly ‘symmetric’ 2020.