The manufacturing industry is rapidly exploring 5G technology, mainly to enable artificial intelligence-driven use cases, such as closed loop production, adaptive production, predictive analytics for the maintenance and training and safety of workers based on augmented reality (XR), says Jagadeesh Dantuluri, general manager for private and dedicated networks at Keysight Technologies. “It’s not a static assembly line that does the same thing over and over again, but a line that can be changed based on their needs,” he says. “Private networks are essentially enabling new business models in production.”
However, the benefits of 5G private networks go beyond production. Because the technology offers more reliable connectivity, faster data speeds and less latency, and greater scalability, security, and network control than previous communications technologies, 5G private networks will drive innovation in many industrial and business sectors.
Advantages of 5G private networks
The private mobile network is built on standards defined by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) (such as LTE or 5G), but offers dedicated on-site coverage. This is important for remote facilities where public networks do not exist, or where indoor coverage is not robust. The private network also exclusively uses the available capacity; there is no quarrel between other users of the network, as on the public network. Private operators can also implement their own security policies to authorize users, prioritize traffic and, most importantly, ensure that sensitive data does not leave premises without authorization.
The dedicated nature of private 5G networks combined with customized service, intrinsic control and URLLC capabilities provides more reliable industrial wireless communication for a wide range of applications, says Dantuluri. AR / VR-based design for on-site and remote workers, ”he explains. “In addition, low-cost connectivity allows sensors to be easily deployed in a wider range of scenarios, enabling businesses to create innovative applications and collect real-time data.”
The industrial sector is moving towards massive digital transformation, and the integration of information technology (IT) systems with operational technology (OT) systems will accelerate this process. Digital technologies will also enable many new use cases, such as automated production.
The 5G private network allows the plant to synchronize and integrate tracking data into its workflow, enabling real-time production line configuration, Dantuluri says. “Because factory lines and infrastructure, such as robotic arms, autonomous mobile robots (AMR), autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) and sensors, are connected wirelessly, configuring or moving mounting elements on demand is much easier. This use case requires a highly reliable wireless connection and low latency coverage, and potentially high uplink and downlink data rates, and possibly support for Time Sensing Networks (TSNs) in the future. This application can only be achieved with 5G private networks. ”
Outside the industrial sector, 5G private networks enable augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) mobile applications, allowing, for example, engineers to see blueprints above, soldiers to have heads-up displays, and businesses to have virtual field meetings or working remotely. “If the machine needs to be repaired and the technician or factory worker has AR glasses, they can have technical information posted on the device in the real world to see what’s wrong,” says Dantuluri. “And the data center can send instructions on how to make repairs, step by step.”
As companies realize the benefits of penetration, low latency, high bandwidth and secure connectivity, 5G private network applications will expand. By the end of 2024, analysts expect investment in 5G private networks to increase tens of billions of dollars. A separate analysis of the research branch of the investment firm JP Morgan predicts that the global business opportunity for 5G will be exceed $ 700 billion by 2030.