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PEOPLE

The Power of 5G with HKT’s Natalie Chan

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• Natalie Chan, Senior Vice President of Corporate Market, Commercial Group at CSL Mobile, talks to The Mag about the power of 5G.
• 5G can create a multitude of possibilities for both individuals and enterprises.
• In business, 5G represents a new way of thinking, while the 5G mindset in life means to stay open to new ideas and opportunities.

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What’s the one thing that motivates you? “The Power Series” offers thought leadership insights from industry experts at Taikoo Place on the “power” of their initiatives in relation to everyday life. In May, we speak to Natalie Chan, Senior Vice President, Corporate Market, Commercial Group at CSL Mobile, an HKT company, about the power of 5G.

I was very excited when 5G finally rolled out. To me, it’s not simply the latest generation of mobile technology – it also represents a new way of thinking, one that encompasses limitless possibilities.

We need an open, forward-thinking attitude to drive these possibilities. Having worked in tech for a decade, I realised that the secret to staying ahead in this fast-paced industry is to keep an open mind. Technology is only a tool – we know that 5G is about high speed, low latency (which means the delay between sending and receiving data between devices is minimised) and massive connectivity; so how, and where, do we apply these characteristics to create revolutionary applications?


“5G represents a new way of thinking, one that encompasses limitless possibilities.”
There’s no doubt that 5G technology is accelerating digital transformation. It empowers emerging technologies, such as robotics, AI and IoT (Internet of Things), to enable new and improved experiences across different fields to benefit both individuals and enterprises. To put into context, in virtual reality, which is widely used from personal entertainment to medical training, low latency helps to eliminate motion sickness.

Since my role is about helping clients to solve problems using technology, I’m especially interested in looking at how this shift can make a difference for companies. Take the construction industry, as another example. Thanks to 5G-enabled video analytics for monitoring on-site incidents, safety is improved; while the ability to download huge blueprint files quickly is not only convenient, but can also help to improve construction productivity and save costs.

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Find inspiration from your Taikoo Place neighbours –
Read more from The Mag’s POWER SERIES.  

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There’s been an even wider application of 5G in everyday use over the past year. HKT launched Hong Kong’s first true 5G network last April just when the COVID-19 pandemic had broken out. Remote working became more common, and with that we have had to all adapt to a new way of working, perhaps transitioning to new communication strategies, like cloud adoption. My colleagues and I now do presentations using only our mobile devices instead of laptops – with just a few clicks we can easily share files with our clients through a cloud platform. It’s handy, easy to use and looks professional.

But innovation in technology doesn’t only limit us to producing work –
at Taikoo Place, it keeps us healthy too. As the first business hub in Hong Kong to have full indoor and outdoor 5G coverage, wireless technology here has the potential to enable applications such as sanitising robots and video-analytics platforms. We’re exploring the different technologies that can be used here and in other places like hospitals – think robot receptionists and remote consultation. It’s this kind of innovation and development that we are proud to be a part of, as 5G not only allows us to see the endless potential before us, but also pushes us forward to see what else there is to explore.

In life, we always need an open mind to welcome new possibilities. As a leader, I like to work with people from different backgrounds and age groups, including fresh graduates – you never know what they can teach you. Our cloud platform, for example, is run by one of our younger team members. Though they may be less experienced, they often inspire me to see things from a fresh perspective, and that is essential for innovation and change. After all, with how quickly the world is evolving, being complacent will never move you forward.
Changes come with a cost, though. That’s why we sometimes feel resistant to change, whether it’s technology adoption or a lifestyle shift. But there’s a difference between a cost and an investment, and it takes a bold and forward-looking mindset to recognise that. We have had to invest a lot on the entire 5G infrastructure and the spectrum auction, but we also know it will eventually bring in more value not only to our company, but also to our clients and the growth of many different industries. So, to us, we see it as not a cost but an investment with long-term returns.

The same mindset is also driving me to invest in my personal wellbeing. For years, I had focused solely on my career, spending little time to take care of my health. But following a particularly hectic period last year, I thought to myself, “If the 5G mindset is about being open to new opportunities, then it’s also time for me to make some changes.” So, I started hiking. Now I hike on a bi-weekly basis; sometimes it’s just an easy stroll up Mount Parker, other times I’d challenge myself and take on more difficult routes, such as the Lantau Peak. It takes time and devotion to complete each hike, but to me, it’s a good investment. I feel stronger physically and mentally, and the beautiful views up on the mountains – opening my eyes to even more route to explore – are always worth the sweat and sore legs!

What else does it take to tackle challenges in life? Read about the Power of Resilience with FTI Consulting’s Andrew Gerrard.

Do you work at Taikoo Place and want to be featured in The Power Series? Get in touch.
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