Digital transformation has entered its next new wave, and companies are in the process of upgrading their technology to ensure that they are one step ahead.
As enterprises look to enable more data-rich, real-time applications like autonomous vehicles, augmented reality and robotics in factory settings, and smart city sensors, there is increasing demand for innovative data processing solutions.
When you hear “faster processing,” 5G probably comes to mind. However, 5G is not possible without enabling infrastructural solutions like edge computing. Think of 5G as a capability of a new car engine technology that can go 10x faster, but requires special vehicles, steering equipment, and roadways. Edge computing is one of the key enabling IT infrastructural technologies that allows users to take full advantage of 5G.
In fact, many industrial leaders are implementing both 5G and edge computing into their strategies, which gives them a leg up as these two technologies together further enable automation and support the increasing complexity of our newfound reliance on data management, usage and processing.
Through the coalition of 5G and edge computing enterprises can relieve friction points that are contributing to the nationwide supply chain crisis by enabling software-enabled inventory and warehouse logistics in and end-to-end ecosystem of interconnected databases sharing real-time supply and logistics data.
For industrial leaders looking to optimize all data operations, 5G and edge computing are the perfect partners, especially during a time when technology and our supply chain are evolving at a rapid rate.
Intersection of 5G and edge computing
Merging 5G and edge computing creates a powerful combination that paves the way for a new era of innovation as they work symbiotically to accelerate the adoption of Industry 4.0, known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and drive significant advancements in industrial settings.
As we enter the digital age, enterprises are implementing edge computing at a large scale in order to meet enhanced expectations and more distributed demand for processing. The establishment of edge computing infrastructure has enabled these enterprises to process mass amounts of data with little to no latency, across a large geographical area with many of the centers being able to operate autonomously through remote monitoring technologies like DCIM.
For edge sites in need of real-time wireless connections, 5G is a wonderful addition. In fact, a studyfrom Google and Omdia asserts, eight out of ten enterprises believe that the availability of 5G is highly important to benefit from edge computing. 5G initiatives have become a priority for many companies due to the endless capabilities that it has to offer; some of which include boosting connection quality, minimizing latency, increasing bandwidth, and delivering significantly faster speeds than 4G. Additionally, 5G strengthens security and efficiencythrough network slicing and enabling organizations to prioritize specific data.
Use case deployment
Projects involving the deployment of 5G and edge technologies have been carried out in industries ranging from factory to rail to mining settings.
In one project, Schneider Electric and NTT are collaborating on a private 5G network trial to advance digital services in the manufacturing industry. The P5G will power key use-cases that solve challenges around equipment availability, machine performance, and product quality.
Leading companies like Microsoft have also started to carry out 5G initiatives to enable automation within its services. Microsoft has recently begun implementing 5G technology in its Azure cloud to make their delivery at the edge faster.
Additionally, Ice Mobility, a logistics and supply chain solution provider, has used the capabilities of Microsoft Azure Stack Edge combined with Verizon’s 5G Edge to improve on-site quality assurance at their warehouses.
Looking into the future of 5G at the edge
Although it will take some time for 5G networks to further develop and offer widespread coverage, the opportunities for new edge applications that require the speed offered by 5G are seemingly endless. The deployment of 5G at the edge will provide the agility needed to develop applications that haven’t even been thought of yet, and will ensure that technology continues to evolve to meet our evolving expectations for data usage.
Ultimately, this powerful duo will serve as a catalyst for automation that will drive innovation and transform industrial environments entirely. As 5G initiatives continue to gain visibility across various industries, it won’t be a surprise to see it begin to impact every aspect of our lives.