This episode of Over the Edge features an interview between Matt Trifiro and Paul Howarth, Senior Director of Business Development and Product Commercialization at Rogers Communications. At Rogers, Paul leads a team that designs, builds, launches and sells world leading IoT products that leverage the power of 4G and 5G networks.
In this episode, Paul describes why powerful networks are so important in heavy industries. He elaborates on how autonomous tech can not only increase efficiency, but also safety. Paul and Matt discuss the difference between 4G and 5G, what works best, where it works best, and look forward to what might be coming next.
“Heavy industries have challenges getting data offsite. You’ll see some pretty amazing things. I’ve seen fiber get built down in some very remote locations. I’ve seen microwave links being built over hundreds of kilometers because it’s worth it. That data is so important to get back.”
“Think of sitting in your gamer chair with a joystick and being able to operate a drill. It’s already hitting the mine face, drilling into the rock, and then maybe you switch screens and use the same joystick. But now you’re operating a truck in another area. So now you’ve got someone who’s highly skilled, operating multiple pieces of equipment, and doing it away from the danger.”
“With a highly available cellular network, you can actually pull people away from a dangerous work area, one that’s not a great place to work. And they can do remote drilling, controlling vehicles, really helping also drive a diverse workforce, right? It’s very difficult to get employees to go work in some of these places. And if you can tell a remote operator, you’re able to pick up a lot of employees that might not want to live in a camp.”
“I’m really excited about what can happen and how we can bring software to the masses. Like it’s incredible. How a lay person can now just say, I have this idea, I’d like it to do this. And these tools can now produce a lot of code.”
“When I think about the future, I’ve always had a principle that when you see new emerging technologies, brute strength and bandwidth is gonna win. So that’s what makes me excited about 5G. It’s just a lot of bandwidth they’re able to drop on top of it.”
(02:15) How Paul got into tech
(03:44) All about Rogers
(04:35) What is heavy industry?
(06:07) Heavy industries and wireless
(08:30) How data drives the industry
(09:00) What is the edge?
(10:59) What mining customers need
(14:58) Autonomy in heavy industry
(18:52) Autonomy and safety
(19:51) Deciding between 4G and 5G
(23:08) How Paul uses Edge
(28:04) The challenge of consolidating servers
(29:39) How fast should we make performance?
(31:51) How to build a network
(36:13) Rogers’ use cases
(39:33) What the future might hold
(41:21) What Paul’s looking forward to
(42:17) What Paul wants to accelerate
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