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IMC 2020: Industry 4.0 is picking pace in India even with 4G, say experts panel

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IMC 2020: Industry 4.0 is picking pace in India even with 4G, say experts panel 2

New Delhi: Indian industry must not wait for the next gen 5G technology rollout as the pandemic has already fast-tracked the adoption of digital infrastructure for processes such as mining, manufacturing, logistics and transportation even with 4G, top executives say.

“The good news is what we expect from 5G, even with 4G we can do a lot…At this point in time, we see a lot of demand coming not only from manufacturing, but also, from airports, from mines, from utilities, oil and gas, a host of industries that just want to invest to replace and make the existing legacy networks that they have already today, future proof,” said Thomas Noren, Head of Dedicated Networks and VP Digitalization at Ericsson.

“There is already enough compelling reason to invest now in Industry 4.0 and the use cases that are emerging,” he said at a panel discussion on ‘Industry 4.0’ during the 4th edition of international digital technologies forum, the India Mobile Congress being held virtually this year.

Sundereshwaran Raman, Senior VP Digital Products & IoT, at Bharti Airtel said that manufacturing companies are seeking very specific use cases which provide huge return on investment such as making the devices smarter to improve end customer support experience.

“It (pandemic) has actually fast tracked some of the investments in the industrial community. Typically, they are more conservative than some other companies that are born digital, but we are seeing a trend where companies are transforming from physical to digital and starting with very small use cases,” he said.

Sanjiv Kapur, Co-founder and CTO, Truminds Software Systems pointed out one such use case of smart industrial hats which are intelligent connected devices being deployed for workers safety.

“This has so many sensors which can measure the body temperature, transfer data to the cloud, enable audio conversation with the worker, enable video streaming of whatever is seen in the factory, and prevent accidents in hazardous environments such as mining,” Kapur said, during the discussion.

Airtel’s Raman added that the journey of deploying automated robots and connected machines has just started in India which can achieve economies of scale and provide cost efficiencies to industries in the near term.

Experts also highlighted the need for robust security and privacy standards for processing and storage of humongous data that is being and will be generated from connected machines as Industry 4.0 picks up pace in India.

“The connection between them (devices) needs to be secure and encrypted, not only at the device level, each machine-to-machine connectivity but also to the level of all this data getting transferred from one location to other,” said Digvijay Sharma, Senior Director Sales, Ciena India.

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