How to be part of the fifth Industrial Revolution

09 November 2017

Rupert Pearce CEO, Inmarsat

  • global-xpress
  • broadband
  • voice
  • safety

This week saw the first ever gathering of our entire ecosystem of partners and developers at Inmarsat World in Lisbon.

We brought together our Value Added Manufacturers, Channel Partners, Certified Application Providers and Inmarsat colleagues because we believe that together, by combining our expertise and insight, we have a vital role to play in the fast emerging fifth Industrial Revolution.

A quick history recap – since the first Industrial Revolution, our world has undergone many seismic shifts brought about by mechanisation; computing and information and communications technology (ICT); and the internet. Now, it’s the time of the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) applications. As a result of this latest revolutionary change, we are seeing the emergence of the global digital economy and the digitally enabled society.

Disruptive new business models

The proliferation of smart devices, the boom in applications for work and play, and the exponential growth in demand for mobile connectivity, is driving new business models that are proving highly disruptive across multiple industries. Think of taxi companies without taxis; hotel companies without rooms. Their assets are the global scale that the internet affords, supported by the cloud, big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics.

Clearly though, a global society requires pervasive coverage – it’s becoming as important to human development as clean water and electricity. But, just like these other essentials, the internet is not something the whole world has access to – some four billion people remain unconnected today.

We believe satellite is essential in bridging this connectivity divide and enabling a truly global digital society – as a crucial component in 5G networks; as back-up for resilience and security; and for special services such as broadcast for over-the-air updates and precision navigation for location-based solutions.

Challenges and opportunities

At Inmarsat World, we have been looking at the challenges that lie ahead if we are to successfully meet the needs of an uber-connected planet, and access the unparalleled opportunities in all the markets we serve. Because enormous change is happening everywhere: the connected ship, the connected aircraft; smart cities and intelligent transport networks; for governments, pervasive BLOS communications and mission command.

What we have seen and heard here in Lisbon is exciting, inspirational, transformative. I am confident that together, as one community, we will lead the way in satellite communications innovation and become digital enablers for a global society.


About the author

rupert bioRupert Pearce joined Inmarsat in January 2005 as Group General Counsel and, from January 2009, additionally held the position of Senior Vice President, Inmarsat Enterprises. He became Chief Executive Officer in January 2012. Previously, Rupert worked for Atlas Venture, where he was a partner working with the firm’s European and US investment teams. He was previously also a partner at the international law firm Linklaters, where he spent 13 years specialising in corporate finance, M&A and private equity transactions. Rupert received an MA (First Class) in Modern History from Oxford University and won the 1995 Fullbright Fellowship in US securities law, studying at the Georgetown Law Center. He has been a visiting fellow of the Imperial College Business School, London, lecturing on the school’s Entrepreneurship programme, and is the co-author of Raising Venture Capital (Wiley).