5G – Redefining Industrial Advancement

Ian Moyse, Industry Cloud Influencer

We have found ourselves in a time where remote in all its forms and aspects has become the normality of the world. 2020 took us from partial remote working where employers allowed, through to a rapid mandated work from home for all, with the have and have nots becoming clear quickly. Many found that their roles could not be performed remotely due to technology and process limitations. We have been driven to a change of approach and attitude where business has had to find a way to deliver function, application, information and communication to anyone requiring it,  despite location or limitation. We have witnessed a rapid realisation that facilitation of the anywhere remote worker, brings advantage not restriction; flexibility on workforce without limitation of location or skills brings great advantage to organisations, removing barriers on recruitment and bringing social value to the employer, workforce and ecosystem.

We are at a time when all are embracing the digital life, powered by the capabilities, facilitation and affordability of the tech stack available. Our lives have continued to be transformed prior to this pivotal moment by digitisation and innovation spanning industry and application. The continued dramatic development in communications, compute power and smart devices has already changed the way we interact and transact in both our work and personal lives.  The continued delivery and next stages of such innovation now relies heavily on the binding together of network technologies through IOT (Internet of Things), mobile computing, AR/VR, Big Data, AI, IOV (Internet of Vehicles) and specialised industrial applications and robotics.

Remote network capability has until now been constrained by limitations of bandwidth, latency and reliability across location and criticality of the singular locality of application, data and user. Examples being the constraint illustrated by the skilled people required at a mining face, needing to be at the physical location of the equipment or the ability for a surgeon to use a camera feed live from a remote location, being often impossible due to the equipment transmission requirements and the latency and criticality of the patient care.

We are rapidly moving to a time where remote smart objects not only feed back real time data, but interact cross channel with other smart devices and hence the complexity of network interactions compounds. The volume of interactions between device to device and device to human is expected to grow at a rapid pace, as we see innovations accelerate in the decade ahead. All of this of course has to be delivered with the lowest latency and highest reliability and security with decentralised resource management. 5G was heralded by many as a slow-grower due to consumer resistance to paying the required cost for the extra speed; hence expectation was a nascent market for 5G. 5G is far past this already and accelerating fast with its adoption speed surpassing 4G already, driven much by the creation of new value, not replacement of old.

5G has removed barriers on its surrounding technology stacks such as mobile, cloud, AI, VR/AR and industrial re-engineering and is empowering these areas to accelerate in their own capabilities through the removal of location, speed and reliability barriers. This is not about technology for technology’s sake or marginal gains, 5G combined with other industrial applications is offering a way to a safer and better world with greater sustainability. Take the ability for greater remote working capabilities not only for the white-collar worker, but for industrial workers. Take the already exampled Huawei proof-point of remote mining, with the skilled worker remotely controlling the specialised drilling equipment from a remote and safe location with full real time control and video, previously limited by network and cable restrictions. 5G brings value across diverse industry needs, removing prior barriers and network limitations.

Think of skilled specialised surgeons able to diagnose and engage with patients, data and equipment in real time, remotely without costly and time-consuming travel. The value to the patient and healthcare system as well as the environment are applaudable and in today’s challenged non travel world essential. 5G is at the forefront of driving transformation across industries and will enable modernisation without limitation. The barriers removed by 5G allow other innovative tech stacks to evolve in ways previously hindered. The partnering of technology vendors for joint development collaboration is key to maximise the efficiencies possible and embedding of 5G into devices at core is assumptive.

We are at a pivotal moment where traditional services will be redefined both through market necessity and technology innovation. Huawei spoke of this with firm commitment at the recent MWC (Mobile World Congress) Shanghai 2021, announcing a continued growth in technology partners and carrier adoption and talked strongly of how 5G will bring shared prosperity through a greater interconnection of 5 disciplines; connectivity, computing, cloud, AI and industrial applications.  Exampling many delivered real world practical deployments, Huawei showed that bringing value and safety was already proven;  from Smart Port management, pandemic PPE video audits and medical scanning that bring better and safer workplaces. Significant economic and social value can be gained from the widespread industrial deployment and adoption of 5G networks. 5G’s capabilities enhance and create capability for cross vertical applications which will both facilitate industrial advances and enhance consumer experiences. We can expect that Huawei will serve many of us in the decade ahead through embedded and hidden delivery of our application data, speeding the way for reliable and efficient use of robust specialised applications.


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