5G industry news Technologies | Augmented, Virtual & Mixed Reality

In Business, Better Connectivity Means Better Productivity

  • 3 minute read
  • Published by Crispin Moller on 11 Jul 2022
  • Last modified 11 Jul 2022
Learn how 5G powers next-generation technologies like virtual reality to transform enterprises in the first instalment in this series co-created by Ericsson and Bloomberg Media Studios.

Imagine teams of workers, in different locations, using VR headsets to collaborate on a virtual, life-size replica of a car, battery or engine in real time. Picture robots moving products around a factory, freeing up workers to focus on other tasks. Envision smart clothing, like athletic sneakers that are continuously updated and modified based on an individual’s use.

Now, there’s a mobile network that enables all of this—and more.

Connectivity is the driving force behind innovation, powering the technologies of tomorrow. We’re able to do things now that we couldn’t have imagined even a few years ago, and in the not-so-distant future, we’ll be able to do more. The evolution began with 4G on the consumer side, powering smartphones and apps, and creating a huge business ecosystem. The current evolution is most pronounced in business, as every industry is being reshaped by 5G-powered technologies that create more productive ways to work.

“5G is really going to help transform the work that we do and our ability to compete in a global economy,” says Carolyn Lee, President of the Manufacturing Institute, a nonprofit workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, the largest U.S. industrial trade group.

The business case for 5G

5G, the fifth-generation wireless cellular network, greatly boosts the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks. Up to 100 times faster than 4G, 5G also enables a sharp increase in the volume of data transmitted over wireless systems due to more available bandwidth and advanced antenna technology. Another key benefit is 5G’s near-immediate network response time, or low latency.

Connectivity benefits facts

For businesses, these advantages are a catalyst for innovation. In fact, three-fifths of manufacturers believe that 5G will be “extremely important” to their business, according to a survey by the Manufacturing Institute.

The future of manufacturing, realized

Some manufacturers are already using 5G to build smart factories. Ericsson opened its first highly automated smart factory in 2020 in Lewisville, Texas. The Ericsson USA 5G Smart Factory, which produces 5G equipment for deployment across North America, utilizes many next-generation technologies.
At the factory, 5G improves the efficiency and safety of autonomous mobile robot (AMR) operations. AMRs, which move components and finished products across the production floor, can respond to requests within a matter of seconds, allowing materials to reach their destination faster. They are also equipped with sensors to detect obstacles on the floor. If the sensors detect an obstacle, the AMR automatically stops, avoiding a possible accident.
Paul Tse, the factory’s 5G Customer Relations Manager, says that 5G is crucial for many technologies at the factory, including the AMRs. “5G frees us because you don’t have to wire things, and you get the bandwidth to have smarter sensors,” he says. “Often, Wi-Fi works great when you’re doing proof of concept, but when you have, say, hundreds of machines, you run out of bandwidth or you have interference.”
You can read the original Bloomberg article here.

Related projects