5G underpins many of the technologies that will drive business digitalisation, facilitating communication between a vast range of devices and the wireless transfer of data produced by these new devices as they communicate with each other. Tony Fielding and Helen Davenport highlight the issues and challenges for the successful implementation of 5G.
Helen Davenport: Good morning everyone and welcome to the first in the series of our ThinkHouse IT Masterclass webinars which we have developed specifically for in-house counsel.
Thank you very much for joining us this morning. I am Helen Davenport. A partner in the commercial litigation team at Gowling WLG and I will be chairing our session today on successful implementation of 5G.
I am joined by partner Tony Fielding, who heads our technology, media and telecoms team in the Middle East. He has an international client base and perspective, working and advising clients in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, London and the Middle East. Tony has an additional perspective to this particular topic as Dubai has already commenced its commercial deployment of 5G, so Tony will be talking to us about that today.
So without further ado, handing over to Tony. There is so much hype around 5G at the moment. Is it warranted or is the hype exactly that, hype?
Tony Fielding: Good morning everybody. Thank you very much for joining and thank you for that introduction Helen.
It is interesting. I think there are two aspects to 5G and the hype versions that transformative realism of it.
I think it is definitely going to be a transformative network service. In a sense of enabling technologies that currently exist under 4G but also enabling new and disruptive technologies and enhancing existing technologies. And typically I am talking about things like medicine, autonomy and autonomous vehicles. The impact it will have with AI and the potential that it can grant to a whole range of sectors, a whole range of business and a whole range of locations that will become an eco-system that will facilitate new services, digital transformations. Even service offerings that we do not even know about.
I think it is going to be a transformative network in the same way that mobile operations were when they first came out, 2G for example.
There is also a certain degree of hype in relation to it. And that is largely the hype about it all happening and it is going to happen very soon. I think there are aspects of that which are true, but ultimately it is a general deployment and adoption uptake. It is going to take years and there are multiple reasons, which we will probably explore today.
There is a transformative aspect to it that cannot be understated and I think people just need to be a little bit more realistic about the hyperbole around it and the time frames of true adoption and the truth of application of what 5G can realise for us all.
Helen: We are going to touch on many of those topics today as we come onto the presentation, but also just to trail some things that we will come onto later. Where is likely to be the most value seen in the implementation of 5G?
Tony: I think the opportunity is clearly endless for 5G. One of the areas that I see particular value and absolute promise is in relation to healthcare and wellness.
The ability to escalate from where we are now to what it can potentially do to transform the lives and health of individuals is - I think staggering. And I also think that that world of super connectivity at the moment is an expectation, and it is just going to be a developing expectation as we consume more and more data.
In respect of that, the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices become a key underlying aspect of all devices being connected. So I think that healthcare is one example which I will talk about later in more detail as well as IoT. Industry commentary has definitely focussed on the transformative nature of the Internet of Things, of connective devices across all sectors - equally from the house to the business and various other ones.
Helen: And just to trail some of the increased risks and challenges that we are going to come onto in the presentation, what were things that you would particularly pick out at this stage?
Tony: It is interesting. When I was thinking about the audience today - I understand it is largely lawyers with a few procurement people as well in there, but across different sectors.
I was wondering how to pitch this presentation and I have taken the approach that I am not going to look at the technicalities, and the technical functionality necessarily in detail behind 5G networks and operations.
But what I am going to look at, is the promise and the challenges that will come from the adoption of 5G and implementation of it. I think out of that there is going to be a series of known legal issues because lawyers will need to be aware of existing issues that arise under 4G networks, which will inevitably continue to apply. There is also a raft of unknown legal issues that I think in-house counsel, and lawyers generally, are going to need to be aware of.
We will explore some of those a little bit later as well and hopefully we will hear from some members of the audience as to their experience, some of their concerns in relation to those legal issues.
Helen: Okay. So shall we start at the beginning. So we are taking a bit of a step back. What is 5G? Let us get us all on the same page.
Tony: Let us get us all on the same page. This may be aging myself, but this was one of my first mobile phones and I certainly thought it was possibly one of the sexiest objects I was in possession of.
I think, to those of you who are of a similar age, you will appreciate the excitement that came with that. It was compact. It was sexy, it was well-designed and it allowed us to message one another which was amazing and it also allowed us to roam and make phone calls while roaming. At the time we thought that was exactly all we needed and that little box, that little phone was exactly the only functionality that we would ever require. Well, that turns out that we were dreadfully wrong.
So, what we have seen from that Nokia phone, is not a revolution per se, but what I prefer to and what commentators prefer to look at it is, an evolutionary process that has gotten us to the stage we are now, and certainly an evolutionary process which will get us from where we are now to the next stage.
What this slide indicates is the lifecycle of the next generation networks from 1G through to 5G. From this slide, what is interesting is, in 1991 2G was launched and it provided digital networks. It let us message and travel and roam and make phone calls, and that was a significant development.
The next significant development was 3.5G which bought this truly mobile internet experience to life for us which enabled us to have internet access and look at mobile apps and it was a whole eco-system which was developing under 3.5G networks that showed us more promise under the new generation networks.
Then 4G LTE which in the last couple of years has doubled data speeds and has given us an enormous capacity to consume data. It has increased the reliability of networks and reduced latency and enabled us and a consumer base to gorge themselves on data, which is where we are now.
5G is the next step in that evolution. Which is responding largely to consumer demand, as well as technological advancements and I think what we need to be mindful of is that, 5G is just the next step. There is very much, I think there is going to be 6G development in years to come also. It is an evolutionary process and very much like what is going to happen next with 5G. It is going to be an evolution with revolutionary applications I think is the way I would look at it.
At its very basic level, what is 5G? 5G is the next generation of wireless networks that we are able to access and utilise and it takes us beyond what we previously had, the 4G LTE - Long Term Engagement networks.
What it does, unsurprisingly, is it builds on previous network capacities and infrastructure and previous generation of wireless networks. Whilst it is evolutionary and it is new, and it has incredible promise, it also builds on an existing eco-system of infrastructure and services that are already available.
As I have listed there, the key features of 5G which will enable all of this promise, is near zero latency, so practically no delay which of course we have all experienced when it comes to dealing with data downloads and video downloads and the like on our mobile phones. Incredibly high speeds that will be faster than all previous generations from which you can receive your data packages.
Your data rates are anticipated to be up to - the upper band limit of 10 gigabits per second. It is an enormous data rate. A thousand times more bandwidth will be available to use for a variety of new and existing services.
The network gives a capacity of between 10 to 100 times more connected devices. I think individuals currently have, maybe two to three mobile connected devices that they own. There is a capacity for enormous and significant development in relation to that connecting via a 5G network.
The 5G network will always be on. You will always have access. It will provide you ubiquitous always-on services whenever you need them and from a green perspective, the great thing is, 5G networks require less energy and less energy consumption and they provide on the battery life when you are using particular devices.
There are many positive features in relation to what 5G networks will bring, and will enable new enhanced services as well as new technologies. One of the phrases that is commonly used is, 5G is anytime, anywhere, anyone and anything.
I think that seems to capture exactly what the potential of 5G is for - not just individual consumers, but for businesses, sectors, and innovation going forward.
What is interesting is, there is so much opportunity and promise around 5G, and telecom networks are inherently technical and technically driven spaces. I am not going to go into too much detail around it, but some of the key issues that will enable the key technology that is going to enable 5G specifically I have listed here.
One is the technology and the use of more spectrum efficient technology and because spectrum is a limited resource, radio communications perspective, efficient use of technology to take advantage of the limited spectrum it is critical to being able to develop the roadmap of 5G.
You have things like, and I will not throw too many acronyms out there, but you have things like MIMO - which is massive Multiple Input Multiple Output which is effectively involving simultaneous usage of multiple antennas to increase spectrum use and efficiency.
It will increase the number of the antennas that are attached to base stations, which will enable increased use of number of people to use connected services, and it will enable a greater number of users to get greater reliability and capacity.
Another example of that technology is, what they refer to as, beamforming. Beamforming again is any single transmission that could be used, and it will go to a targeted end-user and so you have things that have developed, like 3D beamforming, which is both vertical and horizontal across those planes, which will focus its capacity and its reliability and accessibility to a particular user.
A little like the Wi-Fi where you could be at location one, location two, location three, but you could switch from different beamforming spectrum in able to access that. There are those sorts of devices and platforms that are looking at really enabling an efficiency around how we can use unlimited resource in a spectrum.
Another challenge is the topology and the infrastructure which is required to facilitate and maximise the use of 5G networks and its promise for deployment. One of those is very much about increasing the capacity and the speed and improving the network and the manner in which that network can be accommodated, in buildings, on buildings, on public infrastructure. One of the approaches is around densification, the use of small cells, small telecommunications and radio network cells that will require deployment across urban areas but in quite high numbers in order to achieve what is required for high bandwidth at short distance radio transmissions.
What we are seeing is a really flexible and scalable, intelligent series of network developments that will hopefully accommodate some of the infrastructure and topology issues that we are being confronted with.
A lot of that will be driven around things like health and safety issues for example. Access and accessibility, competition and ensuring that there is fair and transparent access to networks. I think there is a lot of opportunity for the topology of how this network is going to be deployed to really drive new innovation as well as what will happen with 5G network going forward.
An example of that is, machine to machine operation. Your fridge talking to your car for example or your vacuum talking to your mobile phone, or something along those lines. You require lower bandwidth because it is a smaller amount of data and you use the data infrequently so therefore that would be very different from requirement for high bandwidth, low latency in real-time delivery of data packages or critical or emergency services for example or in the environment of a connected and autonomous vehicle.
I think there are lot of enablers of this 5G technology. Spectrum I will talk a little bit more about later is a scarce resource and how organisations and authorities are looking at it, but I think it is a really interesting space because there will be a lot of new innovation, a lot of new technologies and a lot of new entrants that will come into being technology providers to enable a lot more of the opportunities that 5G deployment.
Thinking about who the audience was today and assuming that most of you are clients of the firm and also may well be lawyers in-house. The reason why I focus less on the technical issues around 5G is because as lawyers we do not necessarily need to get involved in that, but what we do need to be fully aware of is that we have clients who will be operating in this space and we will have new clients operating in this space which will expect a degree of understanding and market intelligence and international perspectives on what is happening in the 5G universe and the issues that will arise.
We are going to be reliant upon in relation to understanding those key issues and the legal issues. Unsurprisingly, a lot of these exist in the 4G environment, but going to be exacerbated and more risky in the 5G environment.
Things like regulation are going to be a challenge because it is still emerging and it is also not going to be consistent, and it is not consistent currently, and there will be jurisdictional challenges. If you are an international operator and you are looking into point across different regions, you are going to have different regulatory frameworks that are going to impact on your ability to engage with end-users.
Unsurprisingly, privacy and data protection and cyber-security will continue to be very significant concerns. Not just for end-users, but for private companies as well as governments and other users of 5G platforms.
You can expect a lot more in this space and a lot more reliance on lawyers to provide robust protections and certainly contractual protections around better protection and privacy issues and cyber-security.
One of the other interesting things, which I will come onto later, is the complexity of this eco-system that is going to develop and it has started to develop already in relation to the supply chain players. They are not just local players, they are international supply chain players now and the nature of those contracts and the extent of the number of contracts and the risk allocation between all of these multiple players.
I think this is something that will truly affect lawyers and will really focus their attention on understanding that new supply eco-system and where the risk actually sits.
Again, in relation to what I have been saying, procurement, integration projects. 5G networks are going to fast forward digital transformations for companies and governments. Procurement integration projects are key to that going from legacy tech to new tech.
You will have a whole range of risks and new players and allocation of risks and contractual mechanisms that will need to be dealt with and addressed in relation to that.
There are a lot of opportunities for lawyers going forward because of 5G. Some will be new and some, at the moment we do not know, and so we do not know what we do not know. I think everybody has to be watching the 5G horizon from a legal perspective to be able to advise clients, whether they are customer side or supplier side in relation to some of these really key legal issues in order to make sure that deployments generally can be successfully implemented and adoption rates can be high for this new technology.
Again, unsurprisingly with any new technology and innovation and new networks, there are always hurdles to overcome and there are probably too many to mention really here in the time that we have, but what I would say that, what I am going to focus on with a lawyer's hat on and talking to fellow lawyers, is the three that I have highlighted here.
The one generally talking about deployment constraints and another, data complexities and another in relation to value chain co-ordination for 5G and how it is going to develop and instructed to how things can be deployed.
Onto the next slide, the point of challenge is that I think it probably the most key are things around the physical barriers to deployment of network enhancement and its adoption.
When I say physical barriers, I mean very much around - as I was talking about before - deployment and the typology and the infrastructure, and the challenges around how you get hundreds of thousands of cells within small cells within central London onto buildings, onto infrastructure, into buildings.
What the restrictions are around that. What regulations will regulate the ability for suppliers to do that? That is a key challenge that deployment and operators are facing and it is very much something that they are working consistently on trying to make things smaller, make things faster, make things more physically appealing in order to make sure that its physical barriers do not operate as a barrier to entry into this market.
5G is not easy to install and it is certainly not easy to employ, and largely because of the need for a lot of volume of small cells, in particular in urban areas and the resource issues around backhaul and a whole range of other things mean that 5G is not an easy network to deploy and it is expensive, it is capital intensive and it has a long-term lifecycle for return on investment.
That is a challenge. Because like setting up telecoms infrastructure previously under other generation networks, it requires a huge amount of capital input and there is a difficulty in consolidating who is responsible for making that investment? Who will get the return on investment? I think that expense aspect of it is a challenge to the deployment and certainly the deployment in the next immediate future.
Talking about expensive aspects of it, what we are talking about is many companies currently have an expensive database as it is. If you have infrastructure in place, whether it be IT infrastructure which talks to your 3.5 or 4G LTE systems, these are expensive to upgrade and it is not going to be a seamless upgrade experience.
Again, it is an issue in relation to cost, and regulatory uncertainty in the market is creating some concern around deployment because operators are not willing to spend the money until they know that there is some consistency and certainty in the nature of the regulation and whether there is going to be any constraints on their ability to get effectively a return on investment.
I think the last two - spectrum availability. Clearly that will develop and change as 5G develops and moves forward. And as an example of what I have previously been talking about, the UK communications code for example, illustrates regulation about rights and access to public infrastructure and providing terms and conditions around how one can do that and these are all a concern to the key players, like the operators and developers in the deployment area.
When we think about 5G what we are really thinking about is, data. Massive data sets and the endless opportunity that businesses and individuals can get from access to and the use of and the monetisation and the sharing of that data.
Not all of which will be non-public or confidential but a large amount of it will actually be what we would think of as confidential and sensitive data. In this new world where data has a massive value, you also get a massive risk that comes with it. Unsurprisingly with 5G you get an increased degree of data complexity across a whole range of sectors and a whole range of access and entry points to networks.
You also get this 5G that exponentially enables and promotes this ability and this access to endless data rich resources. What 5G will do will effectively enable all of these platforms and this data to be used for, let us say, truly good purposes and that collection of massive data will see the facilitation of things, as I said earlier, remote surgery, remote health or streamline manufacturing processes or true autonomy in the future.
None of these things can be underestimated because they are truly worthwhile for us as individuals to be able to have access to, but the risks are there and they are all database risks.
I think that what we will find when we talk about these cases later is, data sharing across platforms and firms and industries and sectors becomes a very complex and murky area which lawyers will have to look into.
One of these here is any adoption and realisation of the full potential of 5G is going to require consumer trust in the system and the network, and key to that will be data protection, data privacy, data ownership within the supply chain, confidentiality of that data and the integrity and security around that data, to ensure that there is high adoption and there is a ubiquitous ability to use 5G going forward.
The third challenge that I thought was relevant to lawyers advising their businesses that might be involved in this or access to 5G or rely on 5G is the idea of value chain co‑ordination.
It is a challenge! Because a lot of people within this industry - technology industry and in the telecoms industry - act in silos. It is not a particularly collaborative industry because there is so much money involved and so much investment needed to realise certain technologies.
I think what we are looking at now is, hopefully, a change in direction when it comes to this. So you have a new world of players, you have a new supply chain eco-systems, you have different emphasis on risk and values within that supply chain. Everybody is playing in a different sandpit. Hopefully with one ultimate goal.
All of these issues impact on the way that they are going to play together to make sure that we can realise it. What we are hoping to see, is a lot more cross eco-system collaboration. Particularly on issues like the technical standards that will apply to the network - 5G network itself - as well as its application within certain industries and across certain sectors.
Whether or not that will be an international collaboration or a national collaboration, remains to be seen but there is - on both levels - that is currently occurring.
Inter-operability. That speaks for itself. If you have inter-operability between systems on the 5G network, you have a much greater opportunity for deployment and development.
In healthcare for instance, remote monitoring of patients and clients has clear benefits for those patients, but it involves medical institutions, medical technology providers, public agencies, government authorities. All of these individuals, along with the telco-operators and along with the developers, need to actually work together to make this effective and work if we are to see the true realisation and the potential of 5G networks.
Excitingly, I think this will lead to companies to re-think business models and I think we are seeing some of that, and certainly as those complexities around the supply chain develop, I think that will become much more apparent and people will start to collaborate in more interesting ways - not just in dialogue but also contractually.
Going back to data. Data is key to this and for lawyers, some of us are probably thoroughly sick and tired of talking about GDPR and data protection generally. But, what is interesting about this new platform and new innovations is that it throws up a whole range of new issues for us to contemplate.
One example here is the complexity of a supply chain in relation to data for a healthcare wearable, personal monitoring device. Who owns that data? Who monitors that data? Who has access to the data? Who can ring-fence that data? Is it me, the patient? Is it the provider of the wearable technology? Is it the device manufacturer or is it another party in the supply chain who has control over certain higher-risk aspects of the deployment and the technology?
Who determines the value of this data and how it is to be shared, is what I think regulation will take some steps to educating us on, as well as getting us direction and certainty. But it will also go back to these new models of collaboration and contracting, which will address some of these issues.
There is a lot of talk about solutions in relation to ownership of data in such supply chains and the protection of it. Whether there is going to be an international common data standard that will be produced. Whether there is going to be new aggregation and harmonisation techniques. Or whether or not it is simply about, in the interim, coming up with really strong contractual obligations and protections and rights of the players within these supply chains to really understand and protect your data or your risk or allocate risk appropriately.
Helen: I was going to chip in there Tony, just I am keen that we come onto some of the use cases that you have prepared because I think that really brings some of this detail that we have been talking through, to life. But, from my perspective and the work that I do particularly concerned about cyber-security. 5G, is that an increasing threat? Or is there an opportunity there actually to be more cyber-secure?
Tony: There is a lot of talk in relation to 5G providing more vulnerability. Because there are multiple layers to 5G, there are multiple vulnerability points for cyber-attacks. Particularly in the case of connected devices under the internet of things.
Yes. There is increased risk with 5G networks and 5G platforms because it is innovative and it is across a range of services, a range of platforms and industries. Because it is reliant on data and we will rely on data and companies will rely on data, those data-sets are sitting out there and then stored and they are being transferred and they are being used and some of that data is highly confidential and sensitive. So people will be looking to access it and breach it.
There are security worries in relation to it and both in relation to the actual network infrastructure itself and how robust it is and what sort of mechanisms are built into it, and it is no secret that Huawei has come under particular scrutiny in relation to the UK 5G network. Because of this particular issue, and it is a trust issue for end-users also and so it goes, not just to a provider like Huawei but also to governments and operators and businesses to manage that risk.
There are some risks that are, at the moment, unforeseen and we do not know how to manage them but if we go onto the next slide, clearly we have got very savvy cyber-criminals out there at the moment who are attacking 4G networks.
5G networks will be no different and in fact, the potential is for greater vulnerability and you have got the likes of Botnet attacks and location tracking and interception because of the nature of being able to triangulate all of this data in relation to you and your usage of your phone.
That is very true that there is going to be some concern and indeed, warranted concern around cyber-security and risk. But at the same time, you have an opportunity, because of the 5G network and because we are aware of these risks, that operators and manufacturers are building these things into the actual network and infrastructure themselves.
The possible solutions are listed here. The two I have highlighted ‑ network slicing - which is particular to the 5G network - is really about an independent end-to-end network which runs on a shared physical infrastructure platform that may be provided by, let us say O2, but you are able to provide a specific negotiated service for a particular end use.
So, for example, it might be for shopping trolleys and parking in supermarkets where they can all talk to one another and you can find out, who is parking where, how many spaces are available and where your shopping trolley may or may not be. All those sorts of things. Or indeed, on a much more spectacular level, when it comes to connecting autonomous vehicles.
It provides a huge amount of benefits, but there is also the risk of available. But there are mechanisms in place to try and curb those risks. Another one I have mentioned there is sectoral regulation and I think there is going to be heavy reliance on that when it comes to cyber-security as you will appreciate Helen, there is not one over-arching law that applies to cyber-security that protects us all from fraud and breaches.
There are new telecoms security regulations, for example that do apply and do impose regulations on operators and ISPs but they need to provide certain cyber-security thresholds in relation to what they are doing, particularly for example, in critical outsourcing projects and infrastructure projects.
Does that answer your question?
Helen: It does and as I say, I am keen that we come onto the use cases.
Tony: Yes. Okay. I am going to skip spectrum because I think spectrum is - it is a technical issue but it is a limited resource, we need to figure out how to officially use that resource and it is not an easy issue to resolve and internationally players and authorities are looking at how that is going to play itself out.
The two use cases I chose were autonomous vehicles and IOT in healthcare because I see those two as very clear examples of the benefits of 5G.
Autonomous vehicles -there is a huge eco-system of technology and innovation that sits within an autonomous vehicle and obviously we are not there yet, but the automotive industry is really at the forefront of what they can try and achieve using 5G and the new platforms and the new service offerings that can give life to autonomous vehicles. We are looking at incredible amounts of data being generated within the vehicle and being transferred out of the vehicle to things like emergency services, for example, the police. A whole range of other utilities.
You have on-board computers, you have smart cameras, you have a myriad of radars and sensors to help you navigate obviously if it is going to be a truly autonomous vehicle to give the safety aspect to it.
You have all these enhanced services that people are going to want within these vehicles. A lot of this is going, as I said, it is data driven but there is such value in this data and there is so much of it and so much of it is sensitive data that there are needs for regulations and rules around it and just going back to what lawyers are going be faced with, is a really complicated stakeholder eco-system.
If we look at connected and autonomous vehicles. You are looking at - this is just one aspect of the list. You are looking at 4G/5G satellite systems. OAM manufacturers. Suppliers. Cloud platform providers and regulators and app stores and the interaction between all of these things.
As lawyers we are going to need to be on top of this and we need to understand the aspects of this.
Some of the legal issues that jump to mind for all of us to consider are things about the multiple regulatory frameworks that might apply within an autonomous vehicle scenario.
That could be a telecoms operator. It is data privacy. It is cyber-security. It is a whole range of regulatory frameworks that will need to interact in order to make sure that you are protected as a consumer and that your car - assuming that is going to be fully autonomous - can be safe and be driven without a driver.
The list there is fairly obvious and I think liability is a key one that needs to be considered and again. That reflects the new supply chain and where the risk allocation sits and I think, as lawyers, we need to be very mindful of the very drive, the very important legal concepts of indemnities, cross-indemnities, warranties and liability caps and who is responsible for being able to curb the risks associated with some of these things.
The next slide is a personal interest of mine, which is in relation to the internet of things and connected devices, of which there is going to be 50 billion apparently by 2025.
If you just think of the staggering number of connected devices, the opportunities for those and the data that is flowing between them. It is quite apocalyptic in some senses but truly revolutionary in others.
Healthcare is one particular instance where this data is key and it is critical and I think that there are so many aspects to it from remote monitoring to cyber‑security to AI enabled decisions that could facilitate things like remote surgery, patient care, monitoring. Simple things like just looking at heart rates and diabetes from your iPhone.
This all relies on data and there is higher risks of failure. Higher risks including life-threatening risks in relation these applications. All of which will need to be managed by us as lawyers who are advising - particularly those service operators who are deploying these types of platforms.
I am just mentioning some of those legal issues there. Insurance safety and standards that apply, particularly in the healthcare scenario. International standards and international safety protocols are going to need to apply to things like data sharing between hospitals and/or doctors within hospitals or within public hospitals to private sector doctors.
There are all these sorts of things to contemplate. I think that we are just skimming the surface of some of the legal issues now that we need to think about. Many more will come out of this and I think it is thoroughly exciting. It is slightly terrifying but I think, as lawyers, it is an interesting time because there will be so many new opportunities/new technology and new laws that are emerging and developing that we will need to grapple with. In scenarios that we are not entirely sure about now.
Helen: And just to summarise that piece. For lawyers who have been involved in advising in the previous development of 4G and the roll-out of 4G, what is new? What is different in your view Tony?
Tony: In a sense? Not a lot. In another sense, potentially quite a lot. I was thinking about this this morning. I think, firstly it will depend on the services that are being acquired or being provided. So it will depend on whether you are customer side or supplier-side.
It will depend on the contract terms and conditions and the nature of those terms and conditions and unsurprisingly, who the supplier is and your leverage as a lawyer and as a user to be able to negotiate terms appropriately.
As I keep talking about, the supply chain will dictate these new contracts. Who the supplier is, who holds the keys to the data. Who is liable for the data if something goes wrong or who is liable generally if something goes wrong in an autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicle accident.
How do you address that within the contracting framework? How do you mitigate those risks? Are the current terms and conditions appropriate for mitigating those risks or do we actually have to come up with new, either more stringent or do we have to come up with new technology agnostic terms and conditions that will capture future looking risks and concerns, as lawyers we need to identify for our clients.
Thirdly there is very specific risks and challenges. One of them will be around things like artificial intelligence and intellectual property, and I am not an expert on intellectual property and others on the call may well be, but there will definitely be issues as that AI sector develops, where it becomes very apparent that this will become a contractual concern where terms and conditions will need to be addressed and I think, lastly, cross-jurisdictional differences.
There will be inconsistencies from regulation. If you are an international operator, you are going to have to look at different frameworks across a whole range of issues in your 5G deployment and/or service usage. You will need to address those specifically within your contracting terms.
That is where I see it. 4G it is still there. 5G is going to enhance those services and I think the parallel to that will be enhancement of risks and incumbency on us as lawyers to identify those risks and figure out ways to mitigate and/or to get rid of them completely or allocate them appropriately to a much more complex supply chain.
I have talked a lot, the takeaways for the audience I think would be that you cannot underestimate the growth of data and the insatiable appetite for data that is going to drive services in the future.
The risk of that data or to that data. I also think there will be a need to understand infrastructure and deployment services and the challenges around that and the regulations that apply to that so that you can appropriately advise providers or end-users.
I think one of the clear messaging out of this is IT integrity and security, cyber-security and risk management will be fundamental to our roles as lawyers.
I think also, as lawyers, be mindful of the fact that sometimes we will not know the answer, because we do not know the technology and the technology is just emerging. Even the regulators are grappling with these issues, so there is an opportunity to be slightly easy on ourselves as things happen in relation to understanding, but we need to be very much on top of the risks and how we can help our clients mitigate those risks in the best way possible.
Helen: So we will conclude with a couple of questions.
One question. Is 5G essential for facilitating the fourth industrial revolution that we have heard so much about? Or is it a nice 'to have'?
Tony: My view is it is an absolute essential. It is mandatory for that development and I think given the conversation that we have had today, the general transformative nature of what 5G networks can facilitate and enable. They are clearly going to be able to bring to life a revolution via this evolution of 5G and we are inevitably talking about transforming private industries and governments and sectors across - a digital transformation for example - the aviation industry, for example, or the retail and manufacturing industry.
Streamlining efficiencies, raising profitability. Hopefully doing good deeds and bring egalitarian usage of these things to the world will certainly facilitate the fourth industrial revolution. I think one of the key players of that will be artificial intelligence and what will truly bring artificial intelligence to the foreground, will be the reliance on 5G networks to facilitate the endless possibilities and capacities of artificial intelligence across all sectors.
Helen: Asking a question myself and perhaps changing the perspective a bit for the audience, because we have heard so much about the advice that actually we will be giving our organisations and clients depending on our role, but how do we think the 5G will actually affect legal services?
Tony: Well let us hope it will not eradicate the need for lawyers, but I am sure it will definitely assist us. I think that we need to be open-minded and positive about the prospects and opportunities as lawyers that we get from this.
From my viewpoint and certainly as a law firm, Gowling WLG is at the forefront of looking at how we can use new technologies to deliver better services. There will be new and potential artificial intelligence driven legal platforms that lawyers and law firms will be able to use, for the benefit not only of themselves - from a time and efficiency perspective, but also for clients.
5G networks - because of the massive amounts of capacity and no latency or delay, if you have issues around things like discovery and due diligence exercises where you potentially have the ability to analyse infinitely more data very quickly using AI algorithms to actually facilitate that also.
And also we do it from a mobile base. You could be anywhere to do and you could have access to do these things on a particular device or a connected device that is connected to a platform within a law firm's office.
Another example I think would be, the inevitability of post-5G deployment litigation, which I am sure litigation lawyers will be thrilled to hear about, because it will be inevitable and that might take many shapes and forms, including litigation that might come from some of the operators themselves and court hearings, particularly given that operators in the UK and OFCOM's battle at the moment.
I think another one really is around IP and IP law. Particularly in relation to a secondary cell phone market and the likelihood of stolen intellectual property and counterfeits being used internationally because it is inevitable, and there is no finger-pointing in relation to who will be doing it, but I can guarantee you that IP law in relation to this space, particularly in relation to secondary market and secondary markets for new devices, will definitely bring a lot of challenges to law firms.
Helen: I am sure you are right on all of those. From a perspective of a commercial litigator I'm particularly interested in the disputes and challenges that this more complex landscape will bring.
If we have no further questions, I propose we will bring the session to a close. First thing for me to say is, thank you very much Tony for your insights.
Tony: My pleasure.
Helen: Thank you to all of you for joining us. In terms of what is next. 5G is an area which we are very active and coming up the tracks is a publication entitled "Well Connected 5G and its Implication for Global Business" so that will be coming up the tracks.
Next in this series, is "Mitigating Risks of Cloud Services" and that is on 21 October. If you can make it, please do sign up, if you have not already.
Finally, we picked up some questions through the session and I have raised some as well, but if anyone does have any questions following the session I am sure that Tony will be more than happy to answer those, if you want to get in touch.
There are Tony's details on the slides and they will also be as part of the materials we will circulate as well.
Tony: Yes. I am more than happy for that. Thank you.
Helen: Thank you Tony. Hope you all have a great day.
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