Telecom bets 5G will help them own Industry 4.0

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Solving the challenge of integrating 5G and Wi-Fi 6e into legacy tech stacks will rapidly accelerate Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing growth. The world’s leading telecom providers are betting that their unique approach to private 5G, combined with alliances with leading cloud providers, including AWS, will unleash the aggressive growth forecasts for which Industry 4.0 is known.

Telecom sees cloud infrastructure as key

At Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, ​​leading telecom providers launched a range of private 5G, Wi-Fi 6e, cloud-based cybersecurity and hybrid cloud services. The goal is to close the gaps for legacy tech stack manufacturers and companies standing in the way of wider adoption of 5G and Wi-Fi 6e. They look for the tech stack challenges that stand in the way of wider adoption of 5G, a core technology for Industry 4.0 growth.

Telefónica Tech has announced a series of new initiatives offering edge computing and cloud-native private 5G networks running on AWS Outposts. Other new services launched at MWC include support for machine learning, Industry 4.0, Internet of things (IoT), and video and game streaming. Microsoft has announced new additions to Azure for Operators and updated its many telecom partners worldwide, including AT&T, Nokia, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Etisalat, BT, Amdocs, Lumen, Telstra, NTT and Singtel. In addition, Cisco announced its 5G-as-a-Service and Qualcomm announced that it will combine its 5G technology and hardware ecosystem with Microsoft Azure’s private Multi-Access Edge Compute (MEC) and core solutions for pre-integrated, turn-key solutions. private enterprise 5G networks.

As these and many other new product and partner announcements made at MWC this week, it appears that the world’s leading telecom providers view hyperscalers as critical to their success owning the Industry 4.0 tech stack. AWS and Azure have become established leaders in telecom infrastructure and will have a major impact on Industry 4.0 tech stacks in the coming years.

New technology integration accelerates industry 4.0 . growth

Telecom providers are focused on solving the paradox that holds back pack 5G growth in Industry 4.0 and wider enterprise tech stacks. On the one hand, they’re hearing 91% of manufacturers say 5G is important to the future of their business, and 61% say it’s critical, according to the latest research from The Manufacturing Institute. On the other hand, they see how implementation costs, security vulnerabilities, legacy systems, processes and equipment integration are holding back progress. Cloud platforms are purpose built to address these challenges, another reason for telecom to seek hyperscalers as strategic partners.

Telecom providers are focusing on cloud platforms to help manufacturers overcome the challenges of deploying 5G and Wi-Fi 6e. Source: How 5G is transforming the manufacturing landscape, The Manufacturing Institute.

MWC 2022 is the perfect venue for global telecom providers to explain how they plan to help manufacturers close gaps in their legacy tech stacks while providing greater speed, security and scale. It is also the ideal place to launch enterprise-wide initiatives to streamline tech stacks, which pose a challenge in integrating 5G and newer technologies. Based on the announcements at MWC 2022, telecom providers agree that cloud platforms are the future of integration, and the hope they have of owning the Industry 4.0 tech stack depends on how well this strategy works.

Getting edge, IoT, sensor, and shop floor data right

Closing the gaps in Industry 4.0 tech stacks must start on the shop floor. Given the sheer amount of data that typical manufacturing operations generate on a daily basis, getting the right data from the Internet, IoT, sensors, and the shop floor is important. In addition, real-time production and process monitoring feeding a historical database accessible through secure telecom networks will be critical.

5G can reach its potential in Industry 4.0 by improving quality control, starting with real-time recording of waste rates, calculating real-time material costs and actual cost variations, and identifying defective products before packaging them for shipment. Edge, IoT and sensor technologies must be orchestrated with a real-time monitoring system that provides 24/7 data analysis and reporting to any internet-enabled device. The goal should be to provide data to connected employees, whether they are in the factory or on the planet. Real-time production monitoring based on a proven edge, IoT and sensor integration strategy will help close the gaps in production performance.

The success or failure of 5G in manufacturing is decided today on the shop floor. Proper integration of Edge, IoT and sensors is key to closing legacy gaps in tech stacks.

Telecom and their cloud partners must stay focused on what happens to data in the workplace if they want to influence and potentially own the Industry 4.0 tech stack. Manufacturers prioritize equipment monitoring and control, safety procedures and worker safety.

In a recent interview, CEOs and COOs of manufacturing companies told VentureBeat that any business case for new technology must first provide cost control and visibility to the work, order, process, and machine or asset level. They added that while 5G opens up exciting new applications, it should now deliver solid, measurable results. That includes keeping affiliated employees informed and engaged with what’s happening in factories, extending asset life with preventative maintenance, and more. In addition, C-suite manufacturing executives who spoke to VentureBeat seemed to agree that 5G must first pay off the investment in Industry 4.0.

5G as a means of greater real-time data accuracy, security and speed will happen when telecom providers and their partners make data capture and analysis a priority in the workplace.

Future challenges for telecom

Telecommunications faces several challenges in dominating the Industry 4.0 tech stack today. It is vital to establish cloud integration with their public cloud partners. Creating new cloud services that can support 5G-based workplace applications is another point of evidence. But the biggest challenge will be to see if telecom’s many initiatives for smart factories and Industry 4.0 can report in real time how manufacturing decisions affect profits. That’s not the most prominent use of 5G in Industry 4.0, but it’s the most valuable for running a manufacturing company in turbulent times.

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