How do you see the technology ecosystem developing for Verizon India?
Verizon India is an innovation hub and strategic center for Verizon, a global leader in next-generation communications technology, including 5G and the Internet of Things. Quite a lot of the emerging tech-related work is carried out in India, including XR and more. For the overall tech landscape, the most critical aspect for a Global Capability Center (GCC) is to have a seat at the table and that happens when you are accountable for the business priorities. As an innovation hub, Verizon India has played a key role in both the development of new technologies and the day-to-day operations of Verizon’s business. This has enabled us to be partners in progress as the innovations and transformation business cases are aligned towards moving the needle for our customers, shareholders, and employees.
Driven by our core purpose of delivering the promise of the digital world, for us at Verizon, our customers are at the heart of all that we do, and providing world-class customer service forms the foundation of our operations. Verizon India has been playing a critical role in enabling the same by creating/managing a robust Enterprise Architecture, delivering next-generation experiences using AR, AI/ML, Chatbot, and so on, and continuously innovating & experimenting to use emerging technologies to provide best-in-class customer experiences aligning with Verizon’s business goals.
This has not happened overnight. Verizon India has evolved over the years from being an operations center to a capability and transformation center for Verizon. Through the 20 years of our sustained growth trajectory, Verizon India is today among the largest International Verizon Entities with diverse skill sets across workstreams, with technology and innovation at the core of everything we do. We are today a strongly established ecosystem and industry-recognized center of excellence, building value and moving the world forward together.
What role has Verizon India played in enabling 5G for Verizon in the US?
Our teams at Verizon India have been playing a crucial role in supporting and enabling 5G in the US, from launch to implementation to ongoing operations.
The Verizon India Network Team has immensely contributed to the 5G journey of Verizon in the US – accelerating network virtualization through several tech initiatives, facilitating key IT services like 5G Ultra-Wideband, 5G Nationwide, 5G In Building, and 5G Edge.
While our network teams are involved in developing the architecture and strategy for our 4G and 5G network and services along with design, development, and deployment of the network, when it comes to the customer experience of 5G in our digital and assisted properties, the teams in India have been innovating and providing best-in-class digital-first experiences.
The teams also support omnichannel experiences for Verizon through our business support systems (BSS) for 5G orders. We at Verizon are poised to leverage our network prowess through the best OSS/BSS platforms and maximize value for our customers through not only the best network but also with the best end-to-end experiences.
What are some of the use cases 5G could enable for India?
Well, from an industry perspective, if 4G could make on-demand services possible, 5G could propel autonomous / self-assisted technology. As most of us are aware, some of the leading use cases already in motion on the industrial front include IIoT, sensor-based M2M communication, smart manufacturing, remote asset monitoring to track and maintain assets across different factory locations, and telematics for efficient management of supply chain with real-time insights.
Additionally, with ‘experience’ taking the center stage for any retail business today, 5G can enable the possibilities of AR/VR/XR with touchless and self-service experiences. With 5G, service providers can create immersive ambient experiences for customers with hyper-automation and personalization. For instance, in healthcare, these immersive technologies can help with remote assistance to manage critical health conditions. The education sector can benefit equally from the possibilities of 5G, as the enablement of immersive technologies can also help specially-abled individuals to learn at their own pace.
With broadband penetration still limited only to urban cities and towns, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) will pave the way for last-mile network connectivity with broadband penetration in the rural hinterland. This can help create social value by bridging the urban-rural digital divide. Additionally, cities could also harness 5G for smart street lighting, remote surveillance for public safety, and traffic management to name a few.
Being the pioneers of 5G worldwide, what has Verizon’s journey been in this sphere thus far?
Verizon was the first in the world to roll out commercial 5G a couple of years ago and is currently the largest player in this sphere. As operators, we see our role evolve as digital inclusion partners.
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2019, our CEO Hans Vestberg talked about the Eight Currencies of 5G – throughput, service deployment, mobility, connected devices, energy efficiency, data volume, latency, and reliability. We have been working towards strengthening the infrastructure for 5G to operate at its full potential and enable the possibilities for autonomous vehicles, drive manufacturing efficiencies and support AR/VR solutions as well as remote healthcare services.
We are also partnering with the entire ecosystem – system integrators, OEMs, device manufactures, large enterprises – who will be building their own use cases on the 5G network. As the use cases evolve, Verizon will be at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
What do you see as the next big leap for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
5G powered by Quantum Computing and Explainable AI will be the driving force for the next big leap in technology. Explainable AI will be able to provide a contextual experience to customers. Quantum Computing combined with Explainable AI will prove far more efficient in analyzing data patterns and relaying better contextual information to power informed decisions.
How is the Fourth Industrial Revolution different from the other industrial revolutions?
Revolutions fundamentally change or alter the daily lives of billions of people. This one is no different, but the scale of its impact is unheard of. Before delving into what separates Industry 4.0 from previous industrial revolutions, I would like to take a moment to go back in history. As we all know, Industry 1.0 was about mechanization; Industry 2.0 about mass production & electrical energy; and Industry 3.0 was led by computing & automation. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has truly blurred the lines between physical and digital. It has democratized access to cutting-edge technologies impacting every realm and walk of life. The pace at which we are all adopting these is faster than ever before.
The past industrial revolutions have paved the way for new business models for the corporates – SaaS, e-commerce, and m-commerce to name a few. Businesses in the Fourth Industrial Age are built on predictive technologies and customer data. Innovation fueled by data science and cognitive technologies has democratized access to cutting-edge technologies among average citizens. Industries such as food, retail, and healthcare are constantly collecting user data to benefit society in return, with meaningful outcomes.
A few years back, when Verizon began the 5G journey, it was driven by the belief that the 5G Ultra Wideband network had the potential to usher in the Fourth Industrial Revolution since it would eventually touch nearly every industry sector in the economy and meaningfully improve individuals, communities and societies around the world.
Today ‘5G is real’ and we are able to see first-hand its ability to shape the future.
How are these emerging technologies supporting individuals, institutions, and economies during the pandemic?
These emerging technologies have not only helped shape our response to the challenges posed by the pandemic but also transformed the way people, businesses, and things connect with each other. With a majority of the brick and mortar stores shut in the USA during the pandemic, we at Verizon demonstrated outstanding work in mobilizing AR, VR and XR technologies to enable an immersive and hyper-personalized experience for our customers. We delivered uncompromising customer service by enabling a seamless ‘phygital’ experience with touchless retail and self-service experience. In addition, the 5G launch was very timely to shore up the small-scale entrepreneurs with business continuity.
Today, 5G is powering education, healthcare, public safety, robotics, and other critical areas impacting individuals, enterprises, industries, communities, and societies around the world. At Verizon, we create the networks that move the world forward. With 5G, we are proud that we could do it one more time.