Improving operational 
efficiency top priority: Nokia

Reuters File photo
Reuters File photo
Mahmoud El Banna, Head of Digital Industries, Middle East and Africa region at Nokia.
Mahmoud El Banna, Head of Digital Industries, Middle East and Africa region at Nokia.

UAE aims to increase productivity and development of innovative products, boost manufacturing by 30 per cent, and add Dh25 billion ($6.8billion) to the economy by 2031.


Sandhya D'Mello

Published: Fri 3 Dec 2021, 12:10 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Dec 2021, 12:13 AM

Nokia is at the forefront to help enterprises realise their business goals by improving operational efficiency, while gaining greater control over their infrastructure, said Mahmoud El Banna, head of Digital Industries, Middle East and Africa region at Nokia.

The global brand has aligned its strategy in line with the UAE Government’s Vision 2021 initiative to maximise the use of technology to build a more sustainable and progressive world. Nokia demonstrated innovative private wireless solutions and several path-breaking Industry 4.0 use cases at Gitex 2021 to help enterprises accelerate digitisation to enhance efficiency and productivity in a sustainable manner.

El Banna explained: “We enable industries in order to pursue their journey for industry 4.0 by setting them up to deploy digital infrastructure and an even variety of new industry use cases that automate the operation today that save costs and make sure that they run in a more safer environment. So, be it on the energy side, including utilities, oil and gas, mining, the government and smart cities, as well as the manufacturing industry, which all of these are starting to transform their operations today by deploying infrastructure that will perform locally.”

Nokia will focus on oil and gas and utility transformation, which is moving at an exponential rate in order to deploy digital infrastructure to provide automation and pursue the IR 4.0 use cases. The company also see a very strong demand for ‘cities and smart communities’.

El Banna said: “We are seeing the Saudis taking an approach to build new cities on the shores of the Red Sea, which are state of the art cities, green cities in terms of energy, sustainable, and they are really opening new opportunities for the citizens in order to go and live there.”

Gulf countries have regularly been at the forefront of innovation and are recognised worldwide for their vision and comprehensive long-term planning and achievements. A case in point is the Dubai Vision 2040, which is another testimony to the 2040 Urban Master Plan that focuses on enhancing people’s happiness and quality of life and reinforcing Dubai as a global destination for citizens, residents, and visitors over the next 20 years. The digital economy is becoming all pervasive and it is time for the industries to leverage the vast potential of Industry 4.0 technologies, including private networks, to transform their operations for greater efficiencies and more sustainable way of functioning.

“Robust, proven technologies like 5G, Industrial IOT and machine learning will be used more and more as a foundation for innovations and drive dramatic productivity and performance improvements across a wide range of key vital sectors of the economy,” said El Banna.

What Nokia provides/how it helps enterprises towards IR 4.0

Nokia creates the critical networks that bring together the world’s people, machines and devices, sensing and acting in real time. “We deliver the network solutions, expertise and partnerships to help our customers realise their most business goals through Industry 4.0 transformation,” said El Banna.

Connectivity and digitalisation have the potential to dramatically enable improved economic, educational, health, and environmental opportunities, as well as sustainable productivity. Last year the radio networks delivered to Nokia customers reached around 6.6 billion subscriptions worldwide, compared to around 5.5 billion at the end of 2016.

“We support the 2025 targets set by the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development that aim to “connect the other half” in the next five years. We launched our call to action to ensure that a future society with 5G at its heart is built on the principles of equality, trust, sustainability and people-first as part of our Life in 2030 campaign.”

A recent study by Bell Labs Consulting says that industries that rely heavily on physical equipment, such as manufacturing, agriculture, mining and logistics, can enhance safety, productivity and efficiency by as much as 11 times by incorporating digitalisation into their operations. There is added pressure on big industry to bring down their CO2 emissions since they are one of the largest contributors to global carbon emissions. Automation and digital transformation are then imperative for industries that rely heavily on physical equipment. Industries, such as transportation, rail, aviation, maritime, oil and gas, power and water utilities, manufacturing, supply chain, logistics, public safety, defense, coupled with smart cities, education and Government-driven broadband initiatives can use Industry 4.0 technologies to automate operations and gain key capabilities.

Operators in the Middle East and Africa were among the first ones globally to introduce Nokia 5G technology and the momentum continues.

The region now has a massive opportunity to use 5G-powered private wireless networks to automate the industries for greater operational efficiency, improved productivity and better cost economics. All this while moving towards more sustainable operations and being able to meet net-zero targets.

Industry 4.0 allows enterprises to better understand, predict, automate control and actions for improved efficiency, productivity, safety, and more. It helps us be smarter and stronger than before, and more adaptable to change for the continuity of our business and our societies. Further, Industry 4.0 is designed to protect and conserve finite resources, find new ways to do business, and have the ability to shift business models if needed – while at the same time doing no harm.

A case in point is UAE recently unveiled manufacturing plan to harness the technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The programme endeavours to accelerate the digital capabilities of local businesses. It aims to increase productivity and development of innovative products, boost manufacturing by 30 per cent, and add Dh25 billion ($6.8billion) to the economy by 2031. —

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