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.
Q&A: Professor Loredana Padurean, Asia School of Business
As someone who is creating Asia Pacific’s business leaders of the future, what do you believe are the essential skills leaders require?
In many ways, we need leaders who are Renaissance women/men or polymaths, as opposed to specialists of an industry or a field. A polymath is a person with profound knowledge, proficiency and expertise in multiple fields and today’s leaders have to be able to combine various ideas, look at problems in novel and useful ways, and develop a broad and yet still deep set of skills, talents, and knowledge.
You’ve coined ‘smart’ and ‘sharp’ as skills of the future. What are these?
They are replacements for ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills, a concept coined by a US Army doctor in 1972 who observed that his pupils had different skills: dealing with machinery required ‘hard’ skills, while dealing with people and paper were ‘soft’ skills. This concept has served us well since, but I find it too binary, not to mention the semantic implications of the words themselves.
Soft implies gentle, delicate, mild, quiet, tender, weak. However, there is nothing soft in navigating competing perspectives and cultures, handling and delivering critical feedback or dealing with office politics. Instead, I prefer to call these skills ‘smart’. Hard implies rigid, difficult, heavy, static. But how can we think of engineering or software development as static or rigid? I believe ‘sharp’ is more apt as such skills need constant updating or sharpening.
I think it’s time to reflect on these classifications, because we can drastically change someone’s perspective by how we choose to talk about and frame something.
How important are smart skills in leadership today?
Smart skills are more important than ever because we live in a world of extreme diversity: generational, ethical, value-based, gender, etc. Gone are the days when giving an order was an effective act of leadership. I personally work with people from five different continents and across five different generations, therefore as leaders, we need to know how to adapt, motivate, inspire and connect. We need to increase our investment in learning about them in action, especially as smart skills are more difficult to develop.
I believe that a successful leader today has to be both smart and sharp. Take cognitive readiness, one of my top 10 smart skills. In order to be cognitive ready, one has to master system dynamics, one of my top 10 sharp skills. Also, did you know that one of the primary reasons why digital transformation fails is not the absence of digital literacy, a sharp skill, but the need for more validation and adaptability, both smart skills. So, instead of thinking of these skills as binary, I prefer to think of them as the yin and yang; co-existing and complementing each other.
So, you can teach leaders smart skills then?
Yes, you can, via a combination of the classroom experience, plus an action component supported by deeply embedded reflection. At ASB we call this Action Learning, and we teach it both in the MBA and in the executive programs. For example, in teaching a leader emotional maturity as a smart skill, first they need to learn what it is, and then act on it, before reflecting on what we did and how we did it. And then to repeat it, but this time with more expertise and awareness. It’s not easy, but that’s why my favourite mantra is ‘the job is easy, the people are not’.
Discover Professor Padurean's successful skills for a digital transformation here