Welcome to part 2 of our look at 5G in the enterprise. In case you missed it, you can view part 1 here. We previously looked at what 5G is, how it compares to older networks such as 4G as well as looking at some of its features and benefits. Here we will be focusing on how 5G will affect the enterprise space, the Internet of Things (IoT) and what product offerings we can expect to become available in the near future.
What will 5G bring to the enterprise world
Until now most of the discussions around 5G have been directed at the consumer market place however, there are lots of markets in the enterprise area that will benefit massively from the high speed, low latency and connection density of 5G. Internet of Things and business applications should not be seen as a minor market for 5G. It is estimated that the global base of 5G connected devices, (both IoT and non-IoT) will reach 1.2 billion by 2025, rising from around 11 million devices in 2020.
Internet of Thing (Iot)
Many established IoT applications don’t have requirements for the capabilities of 5G or simply don’t have business cases that can justify the cost of 5G. For many IoT applications, the bandwidth offered by low power wide area networks, 3G and 4G/LTE is sufficient for their data transmission needs. However, with 2G cellular networks being retired and the substitution of 2G with narrowband-IoT becoming massive around the globe, the opportunity for 5G IoT is starting to crystallize.
Mission Critical Applications
5G is the first cellular technology to be suitable for mission critical controls and applications as well as media applications that are highly sensitive to latency, those that simply cannot fail. They require high security standards, strong coverage and a signal that supports ultra reliable, low latency communication (URLLC). For emergency services URLLC provides the vital assurance that communication will be reliable and without delay. Mission critical applications include autonomous cars, remote medical surgery, robots and drones, and industrial automation.
Massive IoT is called massive for a reason. It describes connecting tens of billions of devices that transmit data that is not sensitive to delay to the same extent as mission critical applications but still demands pervasive, reliable coverage. Massive IoT requires the deep coverage and density of 5G to support connected devices that have long battery lives and send low rates of data via machine type communications (MTC). Use cases include sensors in smart buildings, smart agriculture, smart cities and smart logistics.
5G provides ultimate scalability for different use cases
A further consideration in deployment of 5G is its ability to be deployed as a private network. This enables organizations to connect all the machines in a manufacturing site with private 5G.
All the advantages of 5G can be accessed with the added benefit of excellent security – because the network does not use public infrastructure and can be operated in isolation from the internet if required. In addition, private 5G puts enterprises in full control of their own networks, enabling them to manage production robots and other systems on their own infrastructure. Finally, private 5G has huge productivity advantages because its wireless characteristics mean greater flexibility can be enabled on the production floor because machines aren’t wired into place and can therefore be speedily reconfigured, relocated or removed as required.
Barriers to 5G IoT adoption
Aside from the need for more countries to fully deploy 5G infrastructure, 5G in IoT needs more 5G-enabled devices to become available. Devices, enabled by 5G modules, need to be easily accessible and it needs to become simple to integrate 5G capabilities into devices.
Leading developers and module makers are at the forefront of developments which are lowering the barriers to integrating 5G into IoT devices and enabling IoT applications with the power of 5G. However, it is still early days for 5G and many applications simply do not need the capacity and low latency that 5G offers. As more 5G applications make it to the IoT market place, the technology is set to prove its value and there are specific application areas that are likely to lead the deployment of 5G in IoT which are detailed in the following section
5G use case examples.
Other Enterprise Impacts of 5G
With higher network speeds and bandwidth available it’s highly likely that more and more businesses will make to switch to cloud data opposed to sorting it locally. This has been on the table many companies for a while now but 5G may well be the tipping point.
- Easier maintenance & upgrades
- Ability to adjust storage space
- Data stored in safe remote location
- Accessible wherever there is internet access
Similar to above, the increase in web based apps is likely as the data can loaded just as fast as if it were locally stored.
- Instant access, no installation required.
- Can be accessed from any compatible device in any location with internet access.
- Easier to develop and maintain.
Infrastructure as a Service
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is an instant computing infrastructure, provisioned and managed over the Internet. It helps you avoid the expense and complexity of buying and managing your own physical servers and other data centre infrastructure. A cloud computing service provider, such as Azure, manages the infrastructure, while you purchase, install, configure and manage your own software – operating systems, middleware and applications.
- Quickly scale infrastructure to meet your needs, saving costs on unused equipment.
- Ease of management, no onsite maintenance or servicing.
- Secure instant access from any location with internet access.
5G Enabled Enterprise Grade Devices
All of the current devices in our product portfolio only offer 4G/LTE connectivity, many of which use modems from Quectel. Quectel has been at the forefront of 5G module development, having designed the first ever 5G module and now has more than 1,000 design-in customers for its 5G modules.
Quectel’s head start in 5G means its modules contain the most advanced features and capabilities on the market.
We expect our range of 8″-12″ tablets to be upgraded to 5G as soon as a M.2 format modems become available to market. Products such as the MobileDemand xTablet T1180 and T8650 will likely be first inline for the upgrade.
For more information regarding our products and future plans for 5G please contact us where a member of the team will be happy to help.