5G is here,.. but what does that mean. Apparently, it means a lot of things due to the myths and the hype that have characterized the next-generation mobile wireless technology and its early rollout by operators beginning in early 2019. Given the deafening media and marketing noise that has drowned out the 5G signal, it is difficult to figure out what is real and what is, quite simply, fake. What are the facts that debunk the myths and hype so that we can get to the value of 5G?
Though delayed a 3-month delay due to the novel coronavirus, Release 16 of the 3GPP 5G specifications are frozen and complete. It has been much touted as the first fully or real 5G release as it introduces functions such as standalone 5G-NR that wean it off of 4G radio and core technologies.
With the advent of 5G there has been growing interest in what the next-generation mobile network technology means for industry. Operators and industrial OT (Operational Technology) players have been investigating the use cases and potential value that the 5G promises and technology can bring to manufacturing, supply chain and the factory of the future. It is commonly known and expected that 5G will bring about massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC), Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communications (URLLC) and enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), but what do these use cases mean for manufacturers? Are these really the 5G promises that matter for the smart factory and the ongoing evolution of Industry 4.0?