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Smart City Connectivity Abstract

Wireless Tech Trends in Connectivity

Jan. 22, 2023
Enterprise digitization is a key focus for many global markets, with new processes, technologies, and applications set to radicalize how the world does business. See how these wireless technologies will be central to providing and increasing automation.

The Enterprise Connectivity Opportunity

Consumers and enterprises are now able to take advantage of many new concepts and technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML); gigabit connectivity; flexible application deployment models in public, private, and edge clouds; cutting-edge devices; and much more. Enterprise digitization is becoming a key focus for many markets around the world, with new processes, technologies, and applications set to radicalize how the world does business.

Providing connectivity within enterprises becomes increasingly important in the context of fast-advancing digitization and increasing automation of production processes (what is often called Industry 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution), as this promises increased efficiency and opportunities around automated quality control of finished products, as well as predictive and preventative maintenance of production machines by using massive wireless sensor networks and AI capabilities.

To unlock these benefits and efficiency enhancements, enterprises across different verticals need to adopt a holistic approach to digitizing their operations.

In this context, advanced wireless connectivity will be one of the many different types of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) available to enterprise owners for full digitization. While other technologies like Wi-Fi (specifically with advancements in Wi-Fi 6) will continue to play a role in enterprise connectivity, cellular connectivity (5G, in particular) will be central to providing enterprise connectivity, as it introduces new capabilities that are particularly important for highly critical use cases.

The introduction of Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) and Enhanced Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communication (eURLLC) will enable a completely new set of use cases on factory floors, in shipping ports or warehouses, and in mines or oil fields. Furthermore, by allowing the connection of 1 million devices per square kilometer through Massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC), 5G will enable the setting up of massive wireless sensor networks and, therefore, be a key enabler for the Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

While recent 5G network deployments in the consumer domain have already shown great success, 5G will have the capabilities to expand the reach of cellular connectivity to the enterprise verticals, unlocking additional markets. By operating private cellular networks in the enterprise domain, 5G will open new revenue opportunities for the entire telecoms network.

Enterprise Connectivity Technologies

In modernizing their connectivity infrastructure, enterprises have a plethora of different technologies available to them. While on one hand, this opens new opportunities, on the other hand, it adds a considerable degree of complexity to their decisions.

In this context, cellular connectivity will be one of the many different ICT solutions available to enterprise owners for full digitization. Other technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, or indeed fixed-line connectivity will continue to play a role as well.

Wi-Fi-Based Connectivity

A Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) provides one of the possibilities for wireless connectivity on the factory floor, based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 standard. Complementing traditional 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax) increases Wi-Fi network efficiency by offering a fairer and more efficient provision of throughput among all users and applications in real-world scenarios, resulting in an increase in overall capacity per area and improved overall user experience. Wi-Fi 6 is better suited to more dense deployment scenarios and will be critical in supporting several heterogeneous device types that will make up the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and connectivity on the factory floor.

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