Industry 4.0 has influence business automation and has increased connectivity for people and the Internet of Things (IoT). As the world starts rolling out the 5G connectivity, the internet speed is expected to skyrocket and it will help businesses attain efficiency and increased productivity. Telecommunication players and manufacturers are confident that 5G connectivity will increase throughput, allow multipoint connectivity, machine-to-machine communication, and autonomous cars.

Countries like South Korea, United States, China, and Japan have already started rolling out the 5G connectivity. Other countries in Europe such as Finland and Sweden have also followed suit by launching a 5G commercial network. Telecommunication companies will get frequencies in the band between 3.4-3.8 GHz. The 5G connectivity was designed in form of a B2B business model and industries are the main target users.  The 4G connectivity will still be operational but mostly for personal use since it also has a high bandwidth.

The B2B business ecosystem that 5G is planning to target is expected to offer increased industrial automation and improved communication.  In this article, we are going to look at what 5G is and the benefits that it’s expected to offer to the industry 4.0 world.


What is 5G?

5G refers to the 5th generation mobile network which is the latest global wireless standard after the invention of 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. 5G brings improved connection speed and better virtual user experience and device connections. The new generation of mobile communication that is set to operate between 3.4 and 3.8GHz radio wave spectrum is poised to offer higher bandwidth than the current 4G network.


What will 5G offer to the industry 4.0?

  1. Superior throughput that will guarantee a high download speed of up to 20 Gbps
  2. Reduced latency of below 1ms thus making it up to 50 times faster than the 4G network. The low latency will be of great help in autonomous driving as it requires ultra-fast speed and action.
  3. Customized connectivity will make it possible for industries and users to create temporary, task-specific networks that will expire automatically once the work is finished
  4. Remote connectivity for industrial operations will help improve productivity and data sharing in real-time even for workers operating in very remote areas
  5. High-reliability levels will ensure that the 5G network is security proof to keep hackers at bay
  6. Multiple points connection density that will support the connection of billions of IoT devices that have no or low connectivity levels
  7. The narrowband will redefine machine-to-machine communication as it will ensure there is efficiency in data sharing


5G connectivity and how it will shape the Industry 4.0

5G connectivity is expected to transform industry 4.0 by boosting the internet speed thus allowing data and information sharing to be completed almost instantly in real-time. In the healthcare sector, remote medical applications that can range from ultrasound and predictive care will be enhanced thanks to fast internet connectivity and real-time communication.

The manufacturing sector will also benefit immensely as 5G will transform the automotive operations through AI robotics plus the rollout of self-driving cars.  Enhanced communication mechanisms and sharing of real-time data will ensure that we build increasingly automated factories, build smart cities with state-of-the-art infrastructure, improve equipment maintenances, improve logistics mechanisms, and optimize agricultural productivity.

With 5G connectivity, real-time data sharing will enhance productivity and service delivery.  Once the leading global telecom giants unveil the 26GHz radio wave, it will now be possible to have a signal antenna retrieve data from thousands of connected objects per square kilometer and process them in real-time for better user experience and unmatched business efficiency.


5G and its impact on the economy

The main beneficiary of 5G connectivity is the business ecosystem. With the rollout of 5G almost becoming a reality in most of the countries globally, business efficiency will be enhanced and this will lead to additional revenue streams. The growth of high-tech industrial networks is expected to positively impact the economy by adding up to 1.5 trillion dollars to global GDP by the end of the year 2020.

Powered by5G connectivity, sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, media and entertainment, energy, retail, transportation, and construction are expected to contribute immensely to economic development.

In countries such as Germany, the rollout of 5G connectivity has already started being deployed in industries such as automotive factories. It’s playing a big part in enabling wireless connectivity of AGVs that will enable the movement of parts from cars to different workshops. Mercedes-Benz is now using over 400 AGVs in its latest production plant “Factory 56” to assemble the S-Class Sedan model. Workshop operators can also showcase production data in real-time using rugged industrial tablets so that they can understand when to schedule for maintenance.

Other countries such as China are looking for ways to revolutionize the logistics sector using the 5G connectivity. There is an ongoing project that is aimed at making a smart harbor in Qingdao and it’s powered by 5G. Once completed, it will become possible to control cranes remotely and other automotive devices at the harbor thus, reducing labor cost by up to 70% and increasing efficiency.


5G connectivity in relation to energy efficiency

The introduction of 5G mobile wireless connectivity will also have an impact on energy consumption. The smart antennas are designed in a way that they will not be transmitting energy continuously in all directions. This, therefore, means that there will be better control of energy consumption. We will continue seeing the invention and development of new and less energy-intensive projects in the 5G ecosystem.

However, the concept of energy-saving and efficiency by the smart antennas can be deemed by the high number of users. If the number of digital operators using 5G connectivity increase drastically, it will lead to high energy consumption.

5G spectrum is going to offer a major boost to businesses once fully rolled out although the main challenge that is affecting the deployment of 5G is the cost of building the network. The equipment needed for 5G are different from those used to develop of 4G network. The 5G is also 16 times the content of 4G and it, therefore, requires adequate resources and dedication for it to succeed in the future.