Aalto University: 5G technology offers productivity benefits to companies and accelerated employment paths for students all around the world

The international ‘Backed by 5G’ online event will be held at Aalto University from 14 to 18 June. The theme for the event is the potential of 5G technology to help develop productivity in countries of the global south such as Nigeria and Kenya. Could 5G technology and other technological advances help strengthen education, business and employment – and thus productivity – in developing countries?

Backed by 5G will feature expert lectures on 5G technology and its application and talks from key decision-makers and influencers in the field. The target group is companies and young people from around the world, and the speakers at the event will include

Tommi Uitto, President, Mobile Networks, Nokia Oyj
Magnus Frodigh, Head of Ericsson Research,
Victor Bahl, CTO Azure, Microsoft
Thierry Barbé, Head of Unit, European Commission
Miika Huttunen, CEO, Slush
Prof. Leonard Wantchekon, Princeton University
Prof. Mischa Dohler, Kings College
Prof. Muriel Médard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Prof. James Gross, KTH University
Associate Prof. Katina Kralevska, NTNU
Associate Prof. Sarah Renée Ruepp, DTU
Prof. of Practice Ritva Reinikka, Aalto University School of Business
Prof. Matti Rossi, Aalto University School of Business
Prof. of Practice Taina Tukiainen, Aalto University School of Business ja
Prof. Rasmus Vuori, School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

5G technology, in conjunction with other new technologies, offers opportunities for entirely new types of products, services and business. It also enables progress towards a more efficient and intelligent industrial, service and housing infrastructure. Nokia has demonstrated that 5G technology enables productivity improvements of up to 30% in its production plants.

Development of digital services is also important in developing countries
The week’s programme pays particular attention to the development of digital services in developing countries. Enabled by 5G technology and making use of other new technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, drones and augmented reality, the technological leaps taking place provide an opportunity for cost-effective implementation of smart campuses and urban areas in both dense and sparsely populated areas.

These smart campuses, urban areas and villages can, at best, serve hundreds of thousands of people, and they can help regional companies to develop and provide employment. This will also trigger wider development in these regions. In addition, a well-functioning network infrastructure enables increased distance learning and remote work, which in the long term could also be a partial solution to the growing need for ICT experts in Europe. Digitalisation and the green transition are set to rapidly increase the need for such experts.

During the event, discussions and workshops with the world’s leading experts and business representatives will lay the groundwork for concrete projects for smart campuses, urban areas and villages in Africa. The actors involved represent all the continents of the world. The aim is that the preliminary studies for these projects would be launched immediately and that the first concrete steps would be taken already in autumn 2021.

Parallel event for the world’s leading 5G summer school
Backed by 5G takes place in parallel with the world’s leading 5G summer school, 5G Hack the Mall. This school also involves companies and universities presenting to the participating students challenges that deal with designing smart campuses, urban areas and villages for developing countries.

The challenges are presented by leading global companies such as ABB Ltd, Caterpillar Inc., Enel S.p.A., H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB, Konecranes Oyj, Philips N.V and Wärtsilä Oyj. Coordination of the course is handled at Aalto University’s Otaniemi campus, where the world’s leading 5G ecosystem is taking shape. This is particularly to the credit of both the experts in the area, who quickly provide social openings, and the researchers, who are carrying out top-level research. The project mentors are experts from a range of organisations, including Nokia, Ericsson, Telia, Elisa and DNA.

The event will be implemented in cooperation between Aalto University and the Start North community. The student-led Start North community has become one of the world’s leading networks promoting 5G expertise and applications, and it is underpinned by the world’s leading companies and universities. The network began to develop at the Aalto University campus in 2019 and is now spreading around the world.

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