AT&T® and Qualcomm® Speak about 5G in Smart Manufacturing Sites

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Senior executives working in companies in the wireless industry continues to search far and wide to identify business segments, which will pay for and use high-speed wireless technology. Most of the searches to identify segments with a latent need for high-speed wireless access comprising wireless 5G centers on healthcare, passenger cars, and other segments in the industry. The latest segment executives are tapping into is the ‘smart manufacturing’, sector. “Manufacturing is going to change a lot over the next 10 years, pretty dramatically,” said Mike Troiano, the Vice President of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions at AT&T®.

He explained that manufacturing sites show keenness to use wireless technologies for reconfiguring the manufacturing lines quickly in order to create new products. The manufacturing systems that often work at a rapid pace for providing more products could do well with high-speed connections that have low latency. As of now, wireless 5G presents the best opportunities for connectivity that can come in handy in smart manufacturing units.

Talking about Wi-Fi technology, Troiano said that manufacturers have been using it in manufacturing products with the help of private wireless networks. However, he said that Wi-Fi does not provide manufacturers speedy connections and adequate interference protections needed in the manufacturing sites. “There’s a really interesting story to be had about how you bring this [5G and private networks] into manufacturing,” said Troiano.

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The fastest internet provider is not alone in the search for supplementing wireless technologies for business opportunities in the manufacturing segment. For instance, Qualcomm® demonstrated a wireless initiative titled as ‘PROFINET Industrial Ethernet over 5G NR’. “Private 5G Networks for Industrial IoT are an important area of focus for the next phase of 3GPP 5G NR,” said Qualcomm® on the demo.

“The ability to run Industrial Ethernet over a wireless network facilitates reconfigurable factories—a key concept of Industry 4.0—to increase productivity and flexibility. The demonstration previews new use cases for 5G NR ultra-reliable low latency communication (URLLC) sub-millisecond latency, including the ability to run precise command-and-control for high-demand factory automation applications,” said the Senior Vice President of Engineering at Qualcomm Technologies®, Durga Malladi.

He further added that low latency backed by 5G technologies could provide major opportunities for the factories that bank on precision operations and instruments for manufacturing products at a rate of knots.

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