Connectivity Opportunities with 5G

Various parts of the world use different connectivity standards. While some are still struggling with 2, 3, and 4G connectivity, more progressive countries are trying out 5G and 6G. However, since 2019, when the markets introduced 5G, there has been considerable interest in its features. Smartphone manufacturers are now launching new handsets that offer the promise of substantially faster internet access along with the most advanced functionality.

So far, several mobile networks have adopted 5G, the latest and fastest protocol in the market. The recent pandemic forced millions to work from home remotely, and the high-speed wireless communication that 5G offers, came at the most opportune moment.

While manufacturers are busy offering the latest generation of mobile phones to access the 5G wireless telecommunications, many are still not aware of the true impact that the 5G technology has brought us overall. While 5G is a powerful tool for consumers, they are not the sole beneficiaries. 5G is slated to impart a far greater impact to the industrial world as compared to what any other network has so far. In fact, the data speeds offered by 5G are even challenging those from the more traditional wired technologies. This is the first time the world can unshackle itself from a physically wired net.

The introduction of the Internet of Things (IoT) has started the Fourth Industrial Revolution rolling. The IoT brings with it machine-to-machine communications, which, in its basic form, allows electronic devices to share data and communicate without requiring any human intervention. The introduction of 5G began at home, where machines are dominating several tasks in everyday life like grocery shopping to energy metering.

Nevertheless, IoT in future homes is only the tip of the iceberg. The functionality that IoT offers to designers is mind-boggling. The manufacturing world is now reveling in the creation of the smart factory, a byproduct of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

A traditional factory has several machines, each performing their own tasks, totally isolated from their neighbors. IIoT connects all machines into a network that allows the entire shop floor to act as a single entity. Sharing information among themselves, machines manage not just the production schedules, but also take care of the supply chain, logistics aspects of the operation, and their own maintenance.

With the introduction of 5G communication, the industrial environment will begin to integrate more devices into the smart factory network. A private 5G cell can handle the entire facility while allowing high-speed data flow from all parts of the factory operation, beginning from sensors to the operation of the largest machines. The introduction of a wireless network in the factory brings substantial benefits like unparalleled flexibility. Manufacturers can easily reconfigure production lines to respond to newer demands from the market.

5G communications are not limited to inside the factory premises alone. One of the major users of 5G technology is the automobile industry. While the demand for electric vehicles is growing at a tremendous pace, vehicles are fast becoming autonomous or self-driven. This requires vehicles to communicate with their neighbors on the road. 5G ensures fast communication to promote safety.