What manufacturing companies need to know about the 5G network
The planet and our daily lives will change thanks to 5G. Experts have often debated the concept. But how will the manufacturing industry change as 5G technology advances?
‘Mr Watson, come over. The first text message sent and received by telephone in 1876 was “I want you”. The humble telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell has come a long way, and if he were alive today, he might not even recognize his creation. Wireless networks on cell phones enable everything from messaging to streaming.
Each generational restart of broadband mobile networks, developed and launched virtually every decade, promises and offers far superior capabilities than its ancestors. “Generations” of broadband mobile networks such as the fourth generation (4G) and the current fifth generation (5G) are used to measure technical standards.
The fastest growing wireless network in the world is 5G. 5G is poised to revolutionize the internet for the better with its strong uptrend and market share of $5 billion by 2022 according to Gartner. This prediction is significant for companies that have adopted the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Although 5G was commercially available as of 2019, the remote working and learning culture of COVID-19 led to a surge in usage in 2020 and beyond.
3 game-changing aspects of 5G
What difference would 5G make, especially for the manufacturing and industrial sectors, considering 4G is good? Industry 4.0 requires reliable data streams with larger capacity due to the significant data load that machines and manufacturers put on their systems. Only 5G will allow devices to communicate with each other and with their human work.
According to a report on the technology, manufacturing companies expect the following groundbreaking and exciting 5G features:
5G network speed will be over 100 times faster than 4G network speed, enabling reliable work or play on the go anytime, anywhere.
The lower latency provided by 5G enables software with AI capabilities, as well as data-intensive and volumetric IIoT applications.
With a 1,000x increase in capacity over 4G, 5G enables faster and more meaningful expansion of the IIoT with data-intensive machines and plants.
The position of 5G in the industrial world
Consumers and businesses alike are welcoming 5G with open arms. As a result, the manufacturing industry, among other things, will experience unprecedented growth. Advanced and emerging technologies are supported by the increased capacity and speed that 5G offers.
By leveraging their current resources such as Radio Access Network (RAN), core networks and transport networks, Communications Service Providers (CSPs) around the world are investing in 5G transition initiatives. According to one company, the percentage of Tier 1 CSPs using XG Passive Optical Networks (XGS-PON) technology to provide subscribers with ultra-fast Internet services will increase to 30% by 2025. Stronger alliances and collaborations with suppliers, regulators and other ecosystem participants will help telcos weather the early bumps of 5G rollout.
Industry 4.0 and 5G
The basis for the industrial revolution is 5G. The age of IIoT, often referred to as “Industry 4.0”, is characterized by the superior robustness and agility of 5G compared to 4G. According to research, this market is expected to have 22 million 5G IoT devices by 2030. There are several uses for these units in industry.
5G integration methods –
- Manufacturers looking to implement 5G should compile a worklist of viable 5G use cases specific to their needs.
- They need to put the most unique uses for their business first.
- In order to support the development of 5G-based solutions, companies need to identify the right partners.
- Last but not least, these companies must begin to implement these strategies in their flagship plants.
Manufacturing companies must consider building their own private local 5G networks to support their initiatives so they are not dependent on telecom providers.
IIoT applications for 5G
An article on 5G in the IIoT states that companies can redirect the useful data they can collect and use with 5G “back into their operations”. [at factories and in smart equipment] enables intelligent enterprise applications such as automation, AI and machine learning.”
There is a limit to the amount of energy that factories can consume in their buildings, in their equipment and for any connected devices. True energy efficiency in industry is possible with 5G-enabled IIoT.
According to another company, wirelessly connected robotics and automated assembly lines on factory floors can benefit from 5G for more accurate and intelligent process monitoring.
The impact of 5G on the ER&D service landscape
In the next few years, business use cases for 5G will outpace consumer use cases. The Internet of Things (IoT) is evolving rapidly, ushering in a “smart” digital age as more and more devices and systems are connected. Scalability will be important given the potential and size of the market; Companies providing ER&D services can expand their portfolio of high-tech offerings with the right investments, giving them an advantage over competitors that move first.
For example, German engineering companies are conducting 5G network test programs in production environments to learn more about how to increase the autonomy of robots and devices in production lines. The experiments should pave the way for a widespread takeover of the communication infrastructure in industrial environments in the future and stimulate more productive production.
Such circumstances present countless opportunities for ER&D service providers with 5G domain expertise and global reach. With offices in India, Munich and North America, LTTS – a preferred partner for engineering services – has invested in developing end-to-end expertise in 5G capabilities, R&D testbeds and laboratory infrastructure.
To unleash the power of 5G, one of their key strategic investment areas, LTTS engineers also leverage their experience in chip-to-cloud technology. This allows them to offer their international clientele the opportunity to try out new things and to innovate. Therefore, engineering service companies will play a crucial role in this situation.
Despite the complexity and potential cost of moving to 5G in terms of local network connectivity, there are several benefits for companies in the industrial sector. Organizations should pursue winning strategies beyond RAN and be prepared for operational issues if they want to make the move to 5G profitable.
edited and proofread by Nikita Sharma