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Insight from Mobile World Congress: 5G Is Propelling Industry 4.0 Innovation

Jenna Harvey, Global Manager, Emerging Industries
November 10, 2021

At the recent Mobile World Congress in Los Angeles, it was clear that 5G tops the innovation agenda in the telecom sector. In fact, 5G will account for two-thirds of total mobile connections in North America by 2025. This goes far beyond the telecom industry though, enabling significant potential for enterprise digitization.

The top operators are talking about 5G to support innovation for everything from connected logistics to enriching fan experiences at stadiums to defining the future of factories to improving patient diagnostics to delivering augmented reality for consumer shopping to smart cities and much more.

What is the potential impact of 5G across industries?

Manufacturing: With 5G, the high-speed manufacturing environment will have more IoT connectivity. The automation capabilities that will come with 5G for both the factory floor and the additional services within products will transform the industry’s ability to connect with consumers in a more agile way. 

"The sheer richness of the 5G-enabled factory, which will have the capacity to maintain connections among far more sensors than either wired or previous wireless facilities, offers the potential to connect just about anything." —Wilson Chow, Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Leader and Partner, PwC China

Healthcare: With 5G, it’s possible to reach a level of connectivity that will enable a whole new health ecosystem, allowing for better patient care, accelerated advancements in medicine, and lower costs. By combining 5G with other leading-edge technologies, the healthcare industry is generating more predictive and personalized medical care.

Retail: Supporting store-of-the-future initiatives, 5G will enable a more reliable and connected store network. Consumers’ shopping experiences will reach new heights with retailers unlocking personalization, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) options. This will fundamentally change how brands and consumers interact.

Transportation and logistics: The solutions that use 5G for transportation are enabling services such as live driver coaching and dynamic vehicle rerouting based on real-time shipment data and weather conditions. This connected logistics will help meet enhanced customer demand for visibility and tracking.

Sports and entertainment: The fan entertainment experience is being innovatively enhanced through 5G. With 5G, the industry is working toward a blend of physical and virtual experiences. At stadiums, this opens up opportunities around contactless payments and smart staffing based on attendance levels.

And this is just the beginning, because 5G has the power to completely transform how businesses operate and consumers go about their day-to-day lives.

Intersection of process and automation.

Organizations must reinvent their processes and implement technology that allows them to quickly adapt to and meet the demand for 5G innovation. 

Organizations need process automation for the following activities: 

  • Better enable field technicians with field service management and densification activities through workflow, collaboration, and mobile-enabled applications.
  • Manage infrastructure build work and handoffs across construction, site-to-air activations, network provisioning, and telecom hardware connections.
  • Support the introduction of new devices to market with product launch orchestration.
  • Ensure customer order-to-activations and mitigate the risk of fallouts. 

“We needed a system that was scalable enough to support the growth that will come with 5G. Requirements included efficiency, scalability, connectivity, and automation." —Moutie Wali, Director of Technology Strategy, Telus

Change is happening rapidly. Read our latest eBook, Low-Code Development: Gateway to the 5G Future, to learn more about how to stay ahead of 5G innovation with automation technology.