Following Successful Standalone Live 5G Trial, Nokia and Smart Aim to Bring Industry 4.0 to Southeast Asia

In the wake of the groundbreaking first live 5G standalone video call in Southeast Asia conducted by both Nokia and Smart, both parties have announced that they are working together to bring Industry 4.0 to the Philippines and to other areas of the region.

Nokia Corporation, a Finnish multinational telecommunications and information technology company, and Smart Communications Inc., a wholly owned wireless communications and digital services subsidiary of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) Inc., have proclaimed that they are cooperating together to bring Industry 4.0 to Southeast Asia. Essentially, Industry 4.0 encompasses the trend towards data exchange and automation in manufacturing technologies and processes that include cyber-physical systems (CPS), the internet of things (IoT), the industrial internet of things (IIOT), artificial intelligence (AI), cognitive computing and cloud computing.

This is after both parties worked together to complete Southeast Asia’s first ever live 5G standalone video call. 5G is the fifth generation cellular network technology, and its networks are digital in nature. Standalone here refers to systems that are entirely 5G-based and which do not need to rely on older generations’ network architecture to function, such as Nokia’s cloud native core solutions. For comparison, current 4G can support up to 100,000 devices per square kilometer, while 5G can support up to a million devices per square kilometer.

According to McKinsey and Company, Industry 4.0 is forecast to generate between $216 billion and $627 billion in value for the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In order to achieve Industry 4.0 whereby the industries of the member economies are increasingly connected together through 5G networks, standalone systems will play a crucial role in the pivot towards the standard for the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia.

A key element of this new architecture is network slicing. Network slicing makes it possible for service providers to partition their networks into discrete ‘slices’ to better support specific use cases or sectors. Network slicing, when partnered in tandem with ultra-reliable low-latency capabilities, will permit the delivery of new use cases, for example real-time remote control of autonomous vehicles, robotics and other enterprise-led 5G use cases.

“Southeast Asia is already home to the world’s top social media users, and 5G will bring them faster connections, but its true beneficiaries will be industry sectors,” said Andrew Cope, head of Philippines at Nokia. He continued: “The trial we conducted with Smart shows that Industry 4.0 can become a reality for the Southeast Asian region. The opportunities are immense, and we are looking forward to working with Smart to allow the Philippines, and the wider region, to reap the rewards of 5G.”

Joachim Horn, PLDT and Smart’s chief technology and information advisor, added: “By working with partners like Nokia in unlocking the full potential of 5G for Filipino enterprises and customers, we are putting the Philippines on par with the rest of the world in preparing for the deployment and adoption of 5G. It gives us great pleasure to be one of the pioneers of the 5G SA deployment in the region and we are looking forward to moving onto larger scale deployment of 5G to tap into new business and industrial opportunities – to help transform the face of the country’s economy.”

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Derek Tan

Derek is the news editor at Absolute Market, a news media focusing on the Southeast Asian tech and startup scene. Contact him at derek [at] for any news pitch.