In this report from Arthur D. Little and Liberty Global, “Unlocking GigaWorld Innovations” the authors argue we are now in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution which they refer to as the “GigaWorld,” or, “A world in which people, machines and the environment collaborate intelligently in order to enhance our quality of living, to improve our mobility, grow our economy and empower our information sharing and decision-making.”
While I find the term “GigaWorld” to be a little quirky (given its inevitable expiry, perhaps TerraWorld would be more future proof), but the premise that this next revolution is much more than Big Data and Automation is a welcome one. The report proposes that networks (and connectivity) are a central enabler of this fourth revolution, and that in addition to coverage and bandwidth, Quality of Experience with Quality of Service Features is also important.
The concept that GigaNetworks with new Quality of Service features will support GigaApps in a new, much more dynamic innovation cycle is correct. One “best effort” service level, or even a few service levels is not good enough any more. The practice of over-dimensioning networks to provide one big fat pipe is not cost effective, and potentially results in every application receiving the same average performance for the dimensions of service level (e.g. bandwidth, latency, jitter, etc.).
Backhaul in the networks also needs to solve for a step change in bandwidth and flexibility supporting the velocity of innovation.
Overall the report is worth a read, as it offers a good, practical analysis of some use cases, including the market values and new business models, plus the changes required in the network to enable it.