The next generation of wireless technology could affect a wide range of industries, from healthcare to financial services to retail. The technology enables faster data transfer speeds -- up to 10x faster than the speeds achievable with older standards -- lower latency, and greater network capacity. As a result, 5G creates a tremendous opportunity for numerous industries, but also sets the stage for large-scale disruption. Download the free report to understand what 5G is, the industries it's disrupting, and the drivers paving the way for its implementation. As of June 2021, commercial 5G services have already been deployed across more than 1,500 cities in 60 countries worldwide, according to Viavi Solutions. The number of IoT devices -- which will rely on 5G to transmit vast amounts of data in real time -- is projected to grow from 12B in 2020 to 30B in 2025, per IoT Analytics, more than 4 devices for every person on Earth. Executives across industries are already jostling to take advantage of 5G tech -- and avoid being disrupted by it. Earnings call mentions of 5G have soared in recent years. From enabling remote robotic surgery and autonomous cars to improving crop management, 5G is poised to transform many of the world's biggest industries. The impact of 5G on manufacturing could be huge. It's estimated that improved connectivity through 5G will create $13T in global economic value across industries by 2035, according to IHS Markit. A third of that total is projected to come from the manufacturing sector alone. This would enable manufacturers to build "smart factories" that rely on automation, augmented reality, and IoT. And with 5G powering large amounts of IoT devices and sensors around the factory, artificial intelligence can be integrated more deeply with operations. On fast-paced assembly lines, even microseconds of latency can cause costly disruptions for the manufacturer.
While the consumer-facing telecoms companies talk only about the speed of downloads, for manufacturing, the focus turns to ultra-reliable low-latency, density and ubiquitous connectivity. It's these lesser-known features, beyond the breakneck 5G speed, that will encourage industry to construct private 5G network infrastructure in industrial plants and warehouses. The sector is a production line for buzzwords; everything from the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to Industry 4.0 are common, with'smart factories' and'edge computing' not far behind. From high-precision assembly lines and augmented reality overlays, to cloud robotics and cable-free factories, here are 12 ways 5G could transform manufacturing. Although it's an overstated part of 5G, there is no getting away from the fact that the ability to download data much, much faster will be a major attraction of 5G to the manufacturing industry.
Though challenges and headwinds exist, we believe that the intelligent edge is poised to transform the computing landscape, propelling the world's largest technology companies toward the next generation of connectivity and operational efficiency. By bringing powerful computing capabilities closer to where data originates and needs to be consumed, the intelligent edge unlocks the potential for faster, less expensive, and more secure operations in everything from autonomous vehicles to virtual reality to the Internet of Things (IoT)--helping to accelerate the Fourth Industrial Revolution.5 The intelligent edge is the combination of advanced connectivity, compact processing power, and artificial intelligence (AI) located near devices that use and generate data.6 It represents an evolution and convergence of trends in industrial monitoring, automated manufacturing, utility management, and telecommunications, amplified by cloud computing, data analytics, and AI. The intelligent edge puts these latter capabilities physically near where data needs rapid analysis and response, enabling that data to be acted on directly or filtered to push only the most important bits to the core. In particular, the intelligent edge's ability to bring cloud capabilities to remote operations could greatly amplify their performance.
Intelligent connectivity is a concept that foresees the combination of 5G, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence as a means to accelerate technological development and enable new disruptive digital services. In the intelligent connectivity vision, the digital information collected by the machines, devices and sensors making up the Internet of Things is analysed and contextualised by AI technologies and presented to users in a more meaningful and useful way. This would both improve decision-making and allow delivery of personalised experiences to the users, resulting in a richer and more fulfilling interaction between people and the environment surrounding them. As artificial intelligence becomes increasingly sophisticated thanks to advances in computing power, the education of data scientists and the availability of machine learning tools for creating advanced algorithms, the Internet of Things is getting closer to becoming a mainstream phenomenon. The ultra-fast and ultra-low latency connectivity provided by 5G networks, combined with the huge amount of data collected by the Internet of Things and the contextualisation and decision-making capabilities of artificial intelligence technologies will enable new transformational capabilities in virtually every industry sector, potentially changing our society and the way we live and work.
In the case of many advancing capabilities – such as machine learning or IoT – edge computing can be the link that supercharges potential business outcomes. For example, an organization might want to collect IoT data from sensors or devices in the field and process them using artificial intelligence (AI) in the cloud. "While this works in small deployments used for proof of concept and pilot projects, it lacks the ability to scale," says Dave McCarthy, research director within IDC's worldwide infrastructure practice focusing on edge strategies. "At some point, the amount of generated data overwhelms networks, resulting in unacceptable response times." Digital transformation is typically focused on the enablement of better products, services, experience, or business models.