Is 5G Worth the Hype?

Feb. 7, 2020
As 5G hits its stride, the technology offers manufacturers an array of potential benefits.

Moving beyond all of the marketing hype, 5G connectivity is finally starting to arrive in strategic locations across the country.

And according to a recent report by the Brookings Institute, the importance of 5G is undeniable. "It is the most significant network overall in history because the alchemy of digital technology allows the transformation of what was always done in hardware to become functions accomplished in software. Then, with such a virtualized network, the power of the lingua franca of Internet Protocol takes over to eliminate the need for specific technology protocols for specific functions," writes report author Tom Wheeler.

But what does that mean for today's manufacturers?

Unlike past wireless evolutions the move from 4G to 5G has the potential to offer significant benefits to manufacturers.The most notable benefit? Fueling the smart factory. “The biggest change is the number of devices that can be connected increases by 100 times and latency decreases to one-tenth of what it was. That's why 5G is known as the enabler of the Internet of Things (IoT),” says WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein.

“Manufacturers can connect so many more devices with this new standard, which revolutionizes the nature of the network. It enables monitoring of many more devices and the interconnection of more devices. And the lower latency will provide the opportunity for applications such as automated operations, computer vision and moving intelligence from robots to the edge as well as applications we have not even dreamed up today.."

About the Author

Peter Fretty | Managing Editor

As a highly experienced journalist, Peter Fretty regularly covers advances in manufacturing, information technology, and software. He has written thousands of feature articles, cover stories, and white papers for an assortment of trade journals, business publications, and consumer magazines.


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