Telenor Group’s scientific research unit “Telenor Research” has unveiled the seventh edition of “Tech Trends,” highlighting how technology and digitalization can enable a green transformation which they believe will define the upcoming year. Grameenphone revealed the research findings through an engaging event at GPHouse on January 24, 2022.
The five anticipated Tech Trends for 2022 were revealed in a keynote and an expert reflection session at GPHouse. Bjørn Taale Sandberg, Head of Telenor Research, virtually presented a keynote during the session. Higher officials from Grameenphone, including the CEO, Yasir Azman, and respected guests including Brig. Gen. Md. Nasim Parvez, DG (Systems and Services), BTRC; Kamal Quadir, CEO, bKash; Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Chief Executive, BELA; and Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF were present at the event. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister for ICT, graced the occasion as Chief Guest.
2021 has been yet another year of extreme weather events and record-breaking temperatures. These underline the challenges humans, wildlife, and nature come face to face with a changing climate. Yet, technological advancements and an accelerating digitalization of society give reasons for hope despite the gloomy outlook.
The core impression of the predictions for 2022 revolves around global climate change and its impact on our ecosystem. The trends predict how new-era advanced connectivity, climate-friendly energy-efficient modern hardware, edge cloud, and 5G technology will be more eco-friendly, increased demand for green job skills with institutions and digital learning platforms offering climate micro-degrees, an optimization war between companies to make devices more energy-efficient and environmental-friendly, a surge in climate aware influencers and taking the next generation’s expectations with importance to mitigate potential threats of the ‘great resignation.’ The report also has three tips on how businesses can avoid this threat once the pandemic is over. The trends are primarily influenced by the ongoing global pandemic and its consequences.
“Today, under the leadership of Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the guidance of our ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy, the architect of Digital Bangladesh, we have not only achieved the target of vision 2021, but we also have exceeded our target in some areas with the Digital Bangladesh vision. We have developed IT training centers and labs according to the 4IR technologies across the country. We built the center for 4IR – the digital leadership academy and many other digital infrastructure and services that will leapfrog our nation towards a knowledge-based economy. We are also building the Sheikh Hasina Institute of Frontier Technology, “SHIFT” for short, to support the youth, especially from the 6th to 12th grade.”, said Zunaid Ahmed Palak MP, State Minister of ICT, Ministry of ICT.
“I would like to congratulate Telenor and Grameenphone for always being there with different kinds of assistance and supporting the Government’s digital dream on many fronts. For the 7th time, Telenor Research placed their predictions regarding the forthcoming chapters through “Tech Trends.” The report picked out the trends with justified causes and explanations. Thanks to Telenor and Grameenphone for their continuous efforts to publish this yearly Tech Trends, which help us focus on the tech discovery around the world and include them in the annual strategy,” he added.
Brig. Gen. Md. Nasim Parvez, DG (Systems and Services), BTRC, focused on the four core elements – Energy efficiency; Sight-level innovations; RAN (Radio Access Network) and Network equipment innovation; and Better network planning and optimization – in his speech. “We need to find out the strategy on how we can decide or develop in a manner that helps us be aligned with the findings of the Tech Trends,” he said. “In this regard, BTRC has been taking number of mmeasures which gives us optimization of resources. We are also working on preparing 5G guidelines. We are having sessions with the operators and incorporating their suggestions”. He also thanked Grameenphone for its handset recycling initiative, which is contributing to environmental conservation in Bangladesh.
Kamal Quadir, CEO, bKash, said, “With the five tech trends, Telenor has come up with a lot of ideas. The term ‘green’ should now be considered when designing anything based on servers and applications; simultaneously, customers need to be provided with the necessary training on how to use modern technology in their daily lives. At the same time, universities must take necessary measures to include these in the core disciplines to enable students to apply these ideas in their careers. I find the concept of ‘greenfluencer’ quite interesting. Everyone must take the necessary steps to make this concept popular in our country. And by working together, we will be able to spread the word of energy efficiency among all and consequently build a sustainable world.”
Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Chief Executive, BELA, said, “At present, e-waste is one of the main causes of environmental degradation. We exactly do not know the risks of e-waste and what measures shall be taken in this regard. Technology companies need to focus on product sustainability if they really want to do something for the environment rather than bring new designs to market to attract customers. Besides, another issue is human safety. Telecom operators need to be aware so that radiation from towers does not cause harm to human health.”
“As a result of climate change, countries like Bangladesh are facing numerous problems. We can improve this situation by taking environment-friendly measures. In addition, a number of steps can be taken to make people aware of climate change. Educational institutions and training centers need to focus on offering climate micro degrees and courses, which will help people learn how to use technology to solve climate problems,” stated Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF.
“People everywhere are waking up to the need to act on climate change and environmental degradation. For us in Telenor, it is key to understand how technology can both avoid being part of the problem and help in the transition,” reflected Bjørn Table Sandberg, Head of Telenor Research.
Yasir Azman, the CEO of Grameenphone, said, “With the evolving climate change, Bangladesh has frequently been facing extreme climatic events, hindering our vision of sustained economic growth. We have achieved remarkable progress in digitalization, and now our mission is to adopt a more climate-friendly approach and safeguard our future through a green shift. This year’s tech projections show how technology and digitalization can play a pivotal role in making data transfer more energy-efficient, a battle for optimization, and climate enlightenment through digital micro degrees and greenfluencers are some of the trends that will deliver a more sustainable future. This year’s report also highlights how we can exercise good leadership to ensure that the next generation of workforce thrives in their workplace.”
Trend 1: Green clouds on the horizon
Due to the immense growth in data usage, there is higher energy demand. Hence, cloud computing has seen exponential growth, and also Edge computing is expected to take over by an acceptable margin in the coming year. “We predict that 5G networks worldwide will have the capability to do local breakout of data traffic to and from Edge data centres,” says Bjørn Taale Sandberg, Head of Telenor Research. “We believe that energy-efficient Edge data centres reachable from mobile devices over 5G networks will start popping up, at an increasing rate, in 2022. As a result, energy will also be saved in data distribution networks since part of the data traffic and electricity will be transferred locally only.”
Trend 2: Big appetite for climate micro-degrees
With modern careers requiring employees and employers to get climate-friendly, there is a need to adapt to lifelong learning on sustainability. Environmental policy and regulation will also increase the demand for green job skills in 2022. “A growing number of businesses will implement green micro-degrees and courses as part of their ‘curriculum’ to slake the green knowledge thirst among employees. The businesses that fail to facilitate opportunities to acquire green online learning credentials on-the-job risk being perceived as less attractive in the eyes of new talent,” predicts Sandberg.
Trend 3: Optimise everything
The global need for greater energy efficiency has the chance to trigger the “optimization of everything” battle between consumer electronic manufacturers. “Devices consuming electricity now outnumber humans by four, and they will become even more dominant in the future. Since transforming our energy supply will take time, we need to optimize everything – not least the use of energy by our devices,” warns Sandberg. “Going forward, more companies will put enormous sums of money on the table to acquire the knowledge and assets needed to come out on top of the optimization battle.”
Trend 4: Here come the greenfluencers!
It has become imperative for influencers to acknowledge the young people’s climate engagement, especially through social media. With the recent disappointments from the UN’s Climate Conference (COP26) and a grim outlook in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report fresh in memory, there is now an expectation of seeing a new movement shape the world of social media, that is coined ‘greenfluencing’. “An undergrowth of climate-aware influencers and activists has emerged across niches on social media, and we believe their growing follower bases will be duly noticed by the influencer universe’s established elite,” explains Sandberg. “Influencers who appear oblivious or indifferent to climate challenges will be perceived as outdated. Instead, followers will flock to influencers who demonstrate climate awareness regardless of niche. Marketers will turn their attention in the same direction”.
Trend 5: Don’t lose out on the ‘lost generation’
With work-from-home and such trends reshaping organizational preferences and cultures, companies must take the next generation’s expectations seriously to avoid facing great resignation. During the continuation of the pandemic, it will be tough for the young to establish and grow a personal network and acquire a general understanding of the corporate lingo and culture, as forming new social relations using only digital communication is much more challenging. “Many companies will in 2022 find that large groups of young employees who never got a proper onboarding are likely to struggle – unless good leadership is exercised,” says Sandberg, and points to the following three tips on how to lead the next generation through the future way of work: 1. Bring joy to the office; 2. With age and tenure comes responsibility; and 3. Make them shine.