What Can CIOs Learn From 5G Early Adaptors?

What can 5G be used for?
What can 5G be used for?
Image Credit: Sun Zom

A revolution is going on in the world of mobile communications. This revolution has a name: 5G. Every CIO has to be aware of this new technology because over time it’s going to work its way into just about everything that we do. However, we are still in the early days of 5G adoption. CIOs need to take the time to take a look at how early adopters are using this new technology so that we can start to get ideas about how we can use it.

What IS 5G?

In the corporate world, CIOs need to understand that the point of 5G wireless service goes far beyond faster internet access. Yes, 5G, short for fifth-generation wireless, can be up to 100 times faster than current 4G connectivity. But even though 5G is still in its infancy, the technology has the potential to reshape how CIOs manage their technology in a range of fields. This includes everything from factory floors to farming.

The 5G technology uses higher frequencies and a much broader chunk of the radio spectrum than previous generations. This means that it can send more data more quickly, and to more devices, than has been possible in the past. This creates the potential to open up a new business model, in which more wirelessly connected data-gathering sensors and intelligence are deployed in the field. One early use of the 5G technology is enabling the enhanced use of robotics and automated devices on factory floors. 5G allows machines to be operated remotely with much more ease because there isn’t as much lag in their performance, and they can be linked together and managed much more easily.

5G Early Adopters

In Europe, auto manufacturers plan to apply for licenses to operate private 5G networks within their facilities. These manufactures see great potential for production in the new 5G standard. One auto manufacturer operates around 5,000 robots in Germany and will require 5G’s capabilities to control these and other internet-connected machinery, such as autonomous vehicles. Industrial companies are also interested in 5G because the technology allows them a degree of operating flexibility that isn’t possible with their current infrastructure.

For example, a box maker in a traditional factory would usually be networked by physical wiring to other components, such as programmable logic controllers that coordinate machine activities. With the reduction in lag, or latency, and the stability afforded by a private 5G network, those devices, and more of them, can now become wirelessly internet-connected and easy to move, without the need to hard-wire and re-engineer its connections. The amount of flexibility that gets delivered in industrial 5G networks can be almost limitless compared to legacy architecture. Wireless 5G connections enable equipment connected to them to be swapped out with comparative ease.

A telecommunications-equipment provider is among the earliest examples of a 5G-connected factory. Their factory uses 5G to enable large-scale automation in warehousing and production-line operations, and the network allows the use of video and radio sensors in all parts of the manufacturing process for tasks such as fault detection. Bringing all this technology to bear wouldn’t have been possible over a typical broadband Wi-Fi network or other network standards. This is due to the instability and limitations of those technologies. Previous generations of technology were not capable enough to accomplish something like this. You could not have completely re-engineered or built a factory only on a 3G, or for that matter, a 4G network.

What All Of This Means For You

The world in which we live is getting ready to change. 5G wireless technology is in the process of being rolled out and CIOs are starting to realize that this could change everything. This new technology has the ability to easily allow many different things to be connected without having to use wires. CIOs are going to have to watch the early adopters and find out how they can use this new technology.

5G is unlike previous wireless technologies in that it uses more bandwidth and higher frequencies to provide connection speeds that can be 100x faster than today’s wireless networks. Auto manufacturers who use many robots to assemble their cars are looking to create private 5G networks so that they can interconnect their robots. In industrial environments 5G can be used to allow different parts of an assembly line to be moved around without having to rewire them. 5G provide capabilities that previous versions of wireless technology didn’t.

Its clear that in the brave new world that we are moving into, 5G is going to make communicating easier to do. CIOs have to start to plan for a world where it is easy to get different devices to talk to each other without having to use wires. This will make reconfiguring things and making changes easier than ever to do. 5G is coming – CIOs need to be ready!

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: Will CIOs be able to use 5G to keep track of their assets if they become more mobile?

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