Next generation 5G wireless technology will deliver breakneck speeds. However, worldwide rollouts are moving at a less impressive pace (with the exception of East Asia). While individual consumers will likely wait at least a decade before they can access the full benefits of 5G, industries will be able to embrace it much sooner. When they do, 5G will revolutionize the way businesses operate, from faster communications to enhanced automation.
According to Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President of Global Marketing and Sales Strategy for Radisys, industries’ shift to 5G will be known as the “4th Industrial Revolution” which will “connect billions of devices.”
“The primary features of 5G making these wireless connections possible include enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC) and massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC),” she writes in Forbes. “In industrial settings, these 5G capabilities will support capacity and latency requirements for use cases such as autonomous guided vehicles, video surveillance, asset tracking, robotic factories and more — while improving worker safety and efficiency.”
Why 5G Rollouts Are Happening Sooner for Industry
While 5G for consumers depends on “macro cell deployments” through cell phone towers using mmWave or sub-6 GHz spectrum, industries can deploy 5G on their own private “micro” networks, according to Tamaskar. She says these micro networks will come with unique advantages, including the ability to:
- connect innumerable devices on one network while meeting “capacity demands for wireless connectivity,” with the ability to easily add more small 5G cell sites when needed.
- strategically deploy small 5G cells in locations where coverage is lagging, giving them greater flexibility “to easily expand coverage to meet evolving requirements.”
- store data in secure private networks rather than a cloud or public network.
- seamlessly switch between small cells without connectivity loss thanks to the 3GPP mobile technology in small 5G cells (important in situations where enterprises have to track the movement of goods or vehicles over long distances, such as an autonomous forklift moving over a large factory floor).
- deploy small 5G cells in “licensed, shared, unlicensed or locally licensed spectrum.” This offers a number of deployment options, such as choosing to partner with a mobile operator “to deploy a private network in a licensed spectrum” or “take advantage of shared spectrum initiatives such as CBRS” [Citizens Broadband Radio Service].
5G Rollout Challenges for Businesses
While 5G will certainly transform industries, it also presents some major challenges, according to Prakash Gupta, Co-founder and COO of 42Gears, a unified endpoint management vendor. One is security.
“For example, with a much greater amount of data being relayed per unit time, it’s more rewarding for thieves to attempt data exfiltration on 5G networks,” he writes in Forbes. “Workers who have free reign over their devices can also download malware faster than before, which means businesses have no margin of error for irresponsible device use.”
Though it may take years for 5G to expand across the globe, industries that erect their own private 5G networks will help usher its spread. As they do, organizations should heed the potential risks along with the benefits.
Learn more about 5G Networks
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Natasha Tamaskar serves. (7 July 2021). 5G Small Cells: Five Opportunities For Enterprise. Forbes.
Gupta, Prakash. (5 July 2021). Security Challenges In The 5G World And How To Overcome Them. Forbes.