The Other Half of the 5G Story

5G is not just about building a new telecom network or standard – that’s only half the story. What about the story of how telecom is intersecting with other industries, industrial plants, transport infrastructure companies, oil fields and ships, all of whom are leveraging 5G and LTE technology, to transform their business models? Picture everything from oil rigs in the North Sea reporting their daily yield back to base, search and rescue missions at sea, companies connecting buildings for efficient energy usage, and industrial plants making medicines.

Smart factories

As a case in point, ABB Power Grids – who provide solutions to meet the growing demand for electricity with minimum environmental impact – is now using the 5G-ready Ericsson Industry Connect solution (based on the Virtual Edge Platform 4600) in a shop floor production environment at its factory in Sweden. The advantages are clear: low latency, a robust and secure private network, efficient and improved production quality, plus increased flexibility in the maintenance and upgrade of production lines.

Opening up new possibilities

It’s clear from this example that while 5G is a huge enabler in its own right, it’s also advancing the already strong trend towards IT and OT convergence, serving as the glue to connect diverse technologies on the factory floor with everything from edge computing, predictive maintenance and vision-based quality systems through to machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. Over the last four years, Dell Technologies has been working to build the most comprehensive ecosystem of partners in order to solve business challenges for customers in different vertical industries across a range of use cases. All these solutions run on top of our Industrial IoT/data architecture, built for scale-up with predictable cost.

As we couple all this with 5G technology, we start to access a whole new world of data possibilities and business insights. Imagine the power of combining autonomous vehicles for material transport on the factory floor or mine, cameras on the conveyor belt, a drone to inspect the quality of parts, IoT data from the sensors on the production line, plus structured telemetry data from control systems, all interlinked through a 5G mobile network.

Uniting expertise

I believe that designing and delivering these next-generation communication networks demands a range of expertise from multiple partners working together. To address this need, Dell Technologies Design Solutions has structured its organization to work with both the leading communications infrastructure providers and the largest industrial companies, all under one “OEM G20” team umbrella. In this way, we’re bringing together expertise in telecoms, IoT, IT infrastructure and industrial automation.

As we have the same teams working with both industries, we can support both sides in their 5G ambitions, helping to design the right communications infrastructure and ensuring its subsequent deployment into industry. This puts us in a wonderful position to support innovation in the first instance, and importantly ensure that is made quickly available to industry.

Partnership will determine the future

I hope that our shared work will influence other industries and help accelerate 5G and LTE deployments around the globe. In turn, that should help drive broader innovation as the more we can automate and seamlessly interlink technologies, the more time we all have available to develop new products and services. While it’s impossible to predict all the possible solutions that might emerge, I believe that having an open and responsive ecosystem to help deploy that ingenuity is critical.

How are you deploying 5G in your company? Do share your stories. Interested in learning more? Take the first step and contact us today.

Learn more about Telecom Solutions from Dell Technologies Design Solutions.

Learn more about IT/OT Convergence in the 5G arena by listening to a recorded editorial webinar, hosted by RCR Wireless News here.

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About the Author: James Hole

A business and technology leader with over 25-years’ IT industry experience, James Hole is Business Development Director for Communications Infrastructure at Dell OEM in EMEA. A competent German speaker, James brings specialist, international sales and marketing expertise in telecommunications, OEM and embedded computing to his current role. In 2010, James joined Dell OEM where he served as Regional Sales Director over a five-year period, winning recognition as an inspiring leader who successfully drove the business to double digit sales growth, quarter-on-quarter. James serves in his spare time as Vice President of Buckingham Rugby Club. He also lends his expertise as treasurer and vice-chair with The Grendon Friends’ Trust, where he liaises with prominent academics, national government and business leaders to fund programs at Europe’s only therapeutic prison.