Food for Thought With Telenor's Sandberg
This Thursday's radio show with Bjørn Taale Sandberg, senior vice president and head of Telenor Research, will be both wide and deep as we delve into topics such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, 5G and creating a digital ecosystem.
After a phone call last week, Sandberg followed up with his thoughts on Telenor's recent decision to open a lab to explore artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics. Telenor partnered with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and research institute SINTEF on the new lab.
At the same time, Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) also announced the launch of an IoT network in several Norwegian cities that gives Norwegian startup companies and students free access to the network. (See Telenor Throws Support for AI, Big Data Into Norway Lab.)
The lab is part of a movement to prevent a few large entities, such as Facebook and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), from cornering the AI market and technologies.
"We decided to establish an AI lab in partnership with the leading technical university in Norway because we believe the impact of this technology will be profound and no one is big enough to solve it alone," Sandberg said via email after reading over questions for Thursday's radio show. "Strong network effects are in play in AI. Every time you use a search engine and click the 'correct' link based on your query, you make the AI better and reduce your incentive to try an alternative. Latecomers will struggle to compete, unless you focus on targeted application areas and emerging data -- like the data from the next generation of IoT devices."
Like other communications service providers, Telenor, which is one of the largest mobile service providers in the world, is also taking a hard look at 5G, but Sandberg said there are concerns there as well. (See Telenor's Sandberg Faces 5G, NFV Dilemma.)
"5G carries great promise, not least a chance for connectivity providers to win back some pricing power through network service differentiation," he wrote, "That is if we can find a good way of satisfying net neutrality concerns."
Telenor is also actively exploring how software is enabling the virtualization of its network and the impact that has on its workforce.
"Virtualization is coming big time," Sandberg said. "We believe telcos must become software companies to succeed, and that belief is guiding our cultural transformation."
It will be an early 10 a.m. EDT start for this Thursday's radio show, so register now in order to ask Sandberg questions in advance of the broadcast. (See Telenor Sets Sail on Its Digital Journey.)
Also check out this recent blog by Telco Transformation's Aditya Kishore for additional research by Telenor. (See Consumers Struggle With New Technology, Finds Telenor.)
— Mike Robuck, Editor, Telco Transformation
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