5G connectivity is transformative with its upgraded enhancements that include lower latency, greater network capacity, and up to 10x faster data transfer speeds unattainable with older standards. 5G technology creates a tremendous opportunity for numerous industries, setting the stage for large-scale disruption. The manufacturing industry is on this list of those that will most notably feel the impact of 5G.
The manufacturing industry’s adoption of 5G goes well beyond the standard benefits of faster speeds, as the new network can help usher in the age of what’s being called Industry 4.0. Alternatively known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, this new era of manufacturing is made possible by various technologies, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices, robotics and cloud, edge and quantum computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and most importantly—5G enabled mobile broadband networks.
Thanks to 5G, all processes within Industry 4.0 manufacturing can be enhanced. For example, implementing 5G will make manufacturing more data-driven on the factory floor, increasing its operational efficiency by utilizing contextual information to complete tasks and make decisions.
Additionally, 5G’s ultra-computing capabilities will allow manufacturers to design automated robots using 5G’s increased data integration technology, making real-time decision-making easier. Worker safety and efficiency will also increase by designating machines to carry out work tasks in dangerous conditions/positions that are unsuitable and unsafe for humans.
On the other side of the process, distribution centers and the entire supply chain process as a whole will also be optimized due to 5G adoption. Its technological advancements will enable new video analytics capabilities, such as real-time full video capture of products as they are shipped. Through cloud-based applications, the video feed would process instantly into real-time 3D asset models enabling warehouses with the ability to determine the optimal positioning, path, and timing of movements.
After packages have left the warehouse, 5G also provides the ability to track the movement of goods and information in real-time throughout every phase of a supply chain. Being able to track items anywhere and everywhere in the world is the core of this technology’s platform. The benefits of its unprecedented speeds and responsiveness are significant, especially at times when problems arise.
The digital transformation in the manufacturing market was valued at $263.93 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $767.82 billion by 2026 and work at a CAGR of 19.48 percent over the forecast period 2021-2026. Along with the rapid digital transformation, 91 percent of manufacturers believe 5G connectivity will be important to the overall future of their business. For this reason, we see today that more companies in the manufacturing industry are looking to adopt some form of 5G services.
This week, Telefónica and Pente Networks (Pente), a revolutionary enterprise cellular 4G/5G platform developer, announced that they are working on a managed 5G Cloud service to enable advanced transformation use cases for enterprises. Telefónica and Pente are looking to democratize the delivery of advanced industry transformation through a managed 5G Cloud service using Pente’s packet core solution.
The service follows a cloud-first approach to create a 5G Cloud service that leverages the full potential of the cloud to automate integration delivery, operations, and integration with services on top—all wrapped with a simple digital view of the service for customers. The result is a more replicable end-to-end product that shortens the delivery time from weeks to just a few hours. At the same time, this massive automation coupled with a simplified user interface designed by Telefónica reduces the cost and complexity barriers for enterprises willing to embrace 5G and Edge computing services.
“The same fully secure and private 4G/5G network supports highly available, high-quality real-time communications, including voice, messaging, and video, to data networking at the edge, important to edge computing and Industry 4.0 solutions,” said David del Val, CEO of Telefónica I+D. “Telefónica can now spin up private networks in hours or days, not weeks or years, and can manage them through a single pane of glass using Pente’s advanced administrative console with its intuitive, IT-friendly experience. An internal team effort that is being developed jointly by Telefónica’s Innovation team and the IoT and Big Data division of Telefónica Tech”.
The two companies have developed products together in the past, initially focusing on how the industrial Telefónica can combine 5G connectivity with a new generation of hyperscaler OnPremise and Edge platforms as a turnkey solution. With their latest collaboration, enterprise customers can access the full range of hyperscaler services and reap the benefits of the cloud to build, manage, and scale local applications using familiar hyperscaler services and tools, which work in perfect harmony with the Pente connectivity platform.
Current Private 5G Edge implementations are mainly based on a special project approach, requiring much engineering effort to integrate devices, connectivity, cloud, and applications. Telefónica has developed a platform that uses CI/CD tools to automate the integration of the different service components, including the core Pente network. This platform enables the generation of an operational model that maximizes automation in the testing, deployment, and operation of applications on top of the platform.
Pente offers a perfect complement to the company’s API First approach, which provides a programmatic integration between the Pente Core and Telefónica’s platform for lifecycle control and to integrate with services on top. Activities cover the deployment of Pente Core on a hyperscaler infrastructure, integration with Telefónica’s platform, and end-to-end service automation.
On the other side of the partnership, Telefónica previously released that they ranked among the three global leading providers in Hyperscale IoT Connectivity and Vertical capabilities, according to the Communications Service Provider IoT Peer Benchmarking Report 2021, proving their experience in the IoT world that 5G is quickly becoming a part of.
“5G and Edge are bringing a new wave of transformation, in the same way as mobile broadband and the cloud did some years ago. Telefonica is in the perfect position to create services combining 5G Connectivity, cloud edge, business applications and devices. By using cloud-native principles we have transformed how the services are delivered to generate turnkey services,” added del Val. He continued, “Now we can spin up private networks connected to apps on the cloud edge in hours or days, not weeks or months, and abstract most of the underlying operational complexity of current 5G networks. This will enable us to reach more client segments and industries in the coming years.”