Every new communications medium, from the printing press to the internet, has brought with it a transformation in the way we exchange ideas and conduct business. We can glimpse what’s to come in the next wave with 5G networks as tests are being conducted of autonomous cross-country delivery trucks and personal robotic assistants are deployed for helping out in warehouses or assembly lines. In point of fact, 5G promises to radically change the way we do business and serve the public.
Wireless, Now 20x Faster
5G represents a leap forward from 4G LTE, the previous generation of cellular technology. 4G has enabled high resolution streaming video and other capabilities we now take for granted.
But 5G promises to enable an even wider range of new capabilities through transfer speeds at least 10 times faster than 4G along with vastly reduced latency.
Latency refers to the time it takes for information to travel to a network and back to a device. 4G networks come with a latency of around 50 milliseconds. 5G has the potential to reduce that to just one millisecond. That’s hundreds of times faster than typical human reaction times (in the neighborhood of 200 milliseconds).
New Networks, New Capabilities
5G has the potential to impact many different industries and customers. As the leader in rugged mobility solutions, Panasonic will help businesses and other customers on their path to real-world innovation made possible by 5G. We envision that this could come to life in many different ways depending on the organization, their industry, and their operational needs.
According to Jason Yim, CEO of Trigger Global, an augmented reality (AR) developer, the transformative power of 5G comes from four key capabilities:
- More content transmitted over the network. A bigger pipe for data means higher-resolution and data-rich images, including for volumetric displays that show content in three dimensions without requiring special glasses or other gear.
- Just as GPS has transformed how we get around outside, micropositioning enabled by 5G networks can do the same for interior spaces such as transportation hubs and factories.
- Greater connectivity for high-traffic events. This includes sporting events as well as emergencies during which older networks become overloaded.
- Ultrafast cloud connectivity. Low latency connections to the cloud will allow real-time reactions for applications that depend on cloud servers, including advanced artificial intelligence for autonomous vehicles, medical diagnostics, and even surgery.
For more about what you can expect with the coming of 5G, tune into our Rugged Rants podcast episode “What Do You Really Know about 5G?”.
Benefits to Business and the Public
Given these capabilities, 5G promises to supercharge just about every sector with new benefits for the customers and the public they serve. Some examples include:
Warehouse & Manufacturing: High capacity, wireless flexibility, and low-latency performance can support the gathering of operational intelligence. Manufacturers will be able to better capture and crunch analytics to produce actionable intelligence to increase productivity. With access to more intelligence, they’ll be able to do things like providing an advanced warning that a piece of specialized equipment may need a repair.
Public safety: A number of tasks already undertaken by police will be able to happen more seamlessly in real-time like license plate and traffic scanning. Additional tools like high capacity, ultra-rich drone technology, and video streaming equipment for situational awareness will also become a reality.
Field Service: Augmented reality using low-latency 5G-enabled headsets could make technicians more efficient. Or “Level-One” technicians can travel to a site and have engineers at headquarters guide them through the repair process remotely via 5G networks, using context-sensitive 3D animations to walk them through the necessary steps.
Readying 5G Networks and Devices
Major carriers have rolled out 5G in cities across the U.S. with rollout continuing in 2020.
Panasonic, as an OEM of rugged mobile devices, is working directly with the carriers to align with the telecommunication standard organizations like 3GPP and IEEE to codify 5G standards and understand testing criteria. We are also working with the key OEMs to test and evaluate chipsets and modules for use in our mobile devices.
How Soon For You?
Today’s 5G available services will mostly benefit businesses with IoT applications that require low latency and high-speed data transfer such as video streaming. Unless you have those specific needs, our Panasonic engineers believe it’s premature to rush to 5G.
It will be more advantageous to wait until 5G service and technologies are implemented on a national and global level which will build out and develop over the next few years.
There’s no question that 5G will transform the way organizations operate and do business. The really critical question is when will it be ready or right for your organization?
If you would like help or more details to develop your plan to deploy 5G solutions in your business, we can help. Contact Panasonic at TOUGHBOOK@us.panasonic.com