BAI Communications 2020 outlook: top 5G/smart city findings
In an announcement made by BAI Communications, the company reported the release of its 2020 Connectivity outlook.
The report looks at the attitudes and opinions of rail users in Hong Kong, London, New York, Sydney and Toronto, on the topic of mobile connectivity, smart city infrastructure and data-driven services in public transport.
The aim of the report is to help cities and governments to understand the changing needs of rail users and what they consider valuable.
"Our findings highlight the incentives for transport authorities and operators to invest in advanced communications infrastructure and smart city applications to improve rail users' safety and their commuting experience,” commented Justin Berger, Chief Strategy Officer, BAI Communications.
Key findings from the report include :
- 85% of rail users are interested in 5G, with 83% supporting the investment of 5G networks in their city
- 93% support transit systems that use connectivity to reduce commute times
- 91% would support investment made into new and reliable wireless and fibre networks
- 95% would more likely use the rail networks if technology solutions were implemented
- 91% are somewhat comfortable with tailored alerts relating to problems and delays to their normal routes
- 81% are somewhat comfortable with anonymous data being used to improve transport systems
- 78% would use public transport to get to meetings if they could reliably work on documents while travelling
- 90% would enjoy rail journeys if they used connectivity, data and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide better services
- Data-driven services make transportation safer, smarter and more efficient
BAI communications highlights that its findings indicate that North America, APAC and Europe, understand the benefits for both the individual and broader public that can be achieved with advanced mobile networks. In additon the company believes that, as the full impact on public transport begins to show, the information discovered in this report will offer countries with valuable insight and direction for its transport sector as the pandemic evolves.
"Citizens certainly expect public services such as transport to adjust to their new usage patterns and changing circumstances in real time, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Advanced communications networks and their applications can help authorities and public transport operators to respond to rail users' new ways of travelling, working and living in a more efficient way,” added Berger.
"COVID-19 has no doubt brought on many challenges. However, it has also revealed the considerable gains of deploying advanced communications infrastructure in transport systems and other public spaces. We believe there is no more pressing time than the present to make truly connected cities a reality,” concluded Berger.
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”