Advancing Bangladesh with 5G and state-of-the-art networks
Bangladesh’s communication service providers (CSPs) can help deploy high-performance networks required to turbo-charge their growth
Bangladesh is placing innovation at the heart of its socioeconomic transformation.
Guided by Digital and Smart Bangladesh initiatives, the government is now driven to turn the country into a high-income nation under Vision 2041.
With landmark efforts that include building a smart education system, alongside advancing telemedicine and financial services digitization, alongside promoting remote work collaboration (over physical ones, unless necessary) to make Bangladesh greener, given the government’s efforts to improve environmental sustainability in critical sectors.
Amid these initiatives, Bangladesh is also on the cusp of a 5G future and converging fixed and wireless networks.
Fifth generation (5G) spectrums have been auctioned and are primed for deployment following the government’s prioritization of reducing and boosting nationwide 4G network coverage to overcome prevailing connectivity disparities.
As Bangladesh phases its 5G rollouts, there will be a high priority on advancing the critical areas of government operations and economic and industrial zones.
For all of them, Bangladesh’s communication service providers (CSPs) can help deploy high-performance networks required to turbo-charge their growth.
Deploying smart solutions via private wireless networks
Industry 4.0 technology deployments mark the acceleration of manufacturing digitization, which we are now seeing applied across factories and in business facility development.
Previously novel concepts are now reality -- with virtual designs, remote operations, as well as on-site and remote (hybrid) testing becoming more commonplace.
For Bangladesh’s manufacturers to enhance their competitiveness, embracing Industry 4.0 technologies, delivered via robust private wireless networks, will serve as the game-changer.
These networks have the required performance to facilitate the digitalization of operations that can support facilities aiming to boost their capabilities with remote diagnostics, remote predictive maintenance of machines and assets, as well as the inclusion of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) for sensing operational faults.
Moreover, remote assisted services with user experiences incorporating augmented reality and/or virtual reality (AR/VR) can be used to improve operations.
Bangladesh’s leading manufacturing sectors, namely apparel, textile production and shipbuilding, are ripe for digital transformation.
While they are the country’s pillar industries for decades, many facilities still rely on legacy approaches.
They must therefore adapt to survive and thrive in today’s technologically driven economy.
The challenges associated with current network technologies -- their high fragmentation, lack of flexibility and dependability, as well as their inability to provide high-bandwidth connectivity to facilitate complex integration and new-generation applications.
The limitations are compounded when such networks are needed to power mission critical environments.
This is how private wireless networks can be transformational.
They use dedicated equipment and services for a specific enterprise, site, or geographic area that can help solve many challenges of the current networks in a cost-effective manner while also enabling new, higher-value applications.
The 5G difference
On top of private wireless networks, 5G can push the envelope further by providing superior speed, security and reliability required to drive and sustain advanced processes.
It will raise the bar for efficiency and operational throughput in addition to enhancing collaboration, worker safety, remote expert support and optimize maintenance through proactive and predictive models.
5G will be particularly transformative for Bangladesh’s manufacturing sector, as it provides ultra-reliable and low latency system designs, allowing for seamless communication between people, machines and sensors without losing data integrity.
It also minimizes dependency on wired technologies to enable smarter and less fault-prone processes.
Manufacturers can collect, use and host their data on site through private wireless networks, so that they can make informed, data driven decisions.
The data they have collected can be transmitted safely and enables the network to run more efficiently.
To help move them up the value chain, factories can harness 5G to better determine and monitor quality control throughout the production process, so that manufacturers can better optimize their cost and distribution efforts, as well as reduce production wastage.
Especially with private wireless networks, factories can also utilize many advanced Industry 4.0 applications powered by edge computing, big data, and the internet of things (IoT) to scale automation efforts while also ensuring that operations can run autonomously, especially in the event of disruptions.
Factories can also run advanced diagnostics of their machinery to proactively conduct maintenance.
Enabling smart city development with 5G
Cities are the beating economic hearts of a nation.
Dhaka particularly serves as Bangladesh’s centre of innovation, whereby the government is leaning on the nation’s capital to sustain urbanization by providing broader economic opportunities and improving overall living standards.
Yet, transforming Bangladeshi urban centres into smart cities requires a sharp focus on exploring solutions that integrate technology, infrastructure and public policy.
Such a city must also be developed in ways that supplement Bangladesh’s unique social features, heritage, economic competitiveness and global aspirations.
This requires the government -- especially at the municipal level -- to proactively extract the socio-economic gains from smart city development, deliberating what is best for the city by delivering related projects.
Smart cities are also those utilizing 5G networks and Industry 4.0 applications for intelligent urban operations.
One such way is harnessing digital connectivity to reduce traffic congestion, which requires IoT sensors to optimize traffic systems and bring minimal disruption to traffic operations.
Additionally, leveraging automated high performance signaling systems can help manage smart metro rail and public transport systems to help reduce urban congestion and vehicle pollution.
CSPs key to propel Bangladesh into Industry 4.0
The 5G era is upon Bangladesh.
To ensure a successful implementation of Industry 4.0 and smart city applications, all stakeholders -- including government agencies, CSPs and industry players -- must collaborate to ensure sufficient bandwidth, as well as utilize5G and resultant diversified services and equipment to realize the next generation in connectivity’s fullest potential..
As CSPs are moving towards freeing up their spectrums for more 4G and 5G coverage in 2023, they must be considerate in their investments, as results will only show in the next five years.
To ensure that CSPs keep on track, planning and engagement must start today for those results to blossom.
Bangladesh is setting its sights to prioritizing the digital transformation of its key sectors and legacy industries, as well as transforming its social sectors for greater societal sustainability like education and healthcare to deliver better service and access.
The country’s CSPs can explore how 5G will enhance the development and harnessing of more advanced applications for its key sectors moving forward.
They should seek collaboration with trusted knowledge and technology partners so they can make smart and effective investments regarding their spectrums and fixed asset portfolios.
These will ensure a smooth transition towards Industry 4.0.
The author is country head for Bangladesh at Nokia