5G technology is a much-anticipated game-changer for the enterprise. The blistering bandwidth speed, enhanced wireless connectivity, network slicing, reliable communication, and improved security look to unlock tremendous opportunities for new innovation in the coming years, from the data center to the edge.
In technological terms, 5G is a technology standard for broadband cellular networks built on multilayered network architecture. Its wireless nature and wide bandwidth are a major leap for enterprises that use proprietary, hardware-based connectivity solutions. The software-driven and virtualized architecture of 5G offers enterprises new levels of flexibility and scalability.
For example, new tools and technologies will enable enterprises to leverage 5G to gather data by integrating a range of digital devices beyond routers, laptops, and cell phones, to IoT sensors, across the cloud and to the edge of the network.
But to foster such an innovative environment, telcos will need to continue to ramp up their enterprise initiatives and build strategic technology partnerships. In a 2021 study by Omdia, 5G 2021 – CSP and Enterprise Opportunities, the firm found that although the number of 5G enterprise projects for Communications Service Providers (CSPs) doubled from 2020, the number of CSP-led projects dropped from 21% to 16%, leaving the vast majority of projects to be led by tech vendors, and enterprise ‘do-it-yourselfers.’ The reasons for the disparity range from a lack of enterprise expertise to an intentional CSP business focus on only the largest of organizations.
The reality is, 5G will permeate the enterprise one way or another because it promises to translate to game-changing improvements in efficiency and productivity. The only question remains is how will it be delivered, serviced and integrated?
The Implementation Gap
We have observed the gap between telcos and the enterprise, firsthand. And we know what each needs. Telcos need a comprehensive understanding of the business problems that challenge thousands of unique companies across multiple and diverse industries. Enterprises need a fresh understanding of 5G implementation opportunities.
That’s why Hitachi Vantara is partnering with telcos and enterprises, alike, across industries to help them understand how to tap into 5G’s full potential. We are helping enterprise customers improve performance through real-time functionality and collaboration, enhance efficiency and safety, and gain AI-driven data access and insights.
On the provider side, Hitachi’s strategic partnerships with leading telecommunications companies around 5G enable us to communicate the benefits of 5G as a business technology; as a solution to the challenges of manufacturing, mining, healthcare, and more.
Our 5G expertise and knowledge of industrial use cases enable us to help businesses:
• Upgrade operational efficiency and resilience in the manufacturing sector
• Prevent failures, breakdowns, and unplanned downtime; protect worker safety, and meet environmental requirements in the mining sector
• Track assets, connect devices and collect data from wearable devices in the healthcare sector
With 800 companies, more than 110 years of operational technology experience, and more than 60 years of IT experience, Hitachi has the use cases across almost every industry to help telcos bring 5G to their customers and make the most of this revolutionary technology.
New enterprise use cases powered by 5G
With 5G, enterprises can deploy more sensors and collect more data in a much more secure manner and with a configurable quality of service (QoS). These new data sets are rich and much more granular, allowing companies to generate much better insights from the data. 5G technology will be a critical enabler for an unprecedented range of use cases in every industry.
• Robotics and remote operations: A Hitachi use case analysis found that collaborative robotics supported workers with greater than 95% accuracy. And a 5G-powered, collaborative remote operation developed by Hitachi decreased the process’s response time by 70%, from 64 seconds to 19 — a key business value metric.
• Automation and AI: The speed and bandwidth afforded by 5G technology allow enterprises to increase their use of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. These technologies eliminate common sources of human error in tasks such as the manual inspections performed on the assembly line. Without a workforce large enough to visually inspect each component, manufacturers rely on a process for inspecting a representative sampling rather than every piece produced. AI delivered over 5G networks now makes it possible to rely on neural networks and computer vision-based techniques that mimic human inspection on a vast scale and with a higher accuracy rate. The same technique can be applied to increase workplace safety. For example, employers can use AI and automation to monitor workers’ use of protective gear or to make sure they keep the prescribed distance from areas that pose an increased risk of injury.
• Big data: With 5G, enterprises can use big data to build more efficient processes. Big data enables manufacturers to monitor each step of their operation and collect information in real-time, helping to isolate and identify the causes of production delays or quality control issues. This enables them to swiftly address and resolve problems, reduce downtime, optimize maintenance schedules and meet production volume targets.
• Augmented reality-based real-time collaboration: Collaboration is a business challenge that cuts across all sectors. 5G supports real-time, virtual sharing of images, repair videos, or guided instructions — enabling a team approach to implementing the right solution at the right time. And with higher bandwidth, technologies such as augmented reality make it possible for experts to respond to requests for support at multiple locations without having to be there physically. This kind of remote work makes more efficient use of key employees’ time, reduces expenses, and accelerates the pace of problem resolution.
Each of these 5G benefits will contribute, in turn, to stronger operating efficiencies, enhanced productivity, better margins, and a more robust bottom line.
An essential 5G partner
At Hitachi, we can frame 5G in these contexts for both telcos and enterprises so that both understand the benefits in universal business terms. Our 5G capabilities are poised to revolutionize how data is collected, aggregated, and analyzed at scale in real-time. Once enterprises understand the value of 5G, those in any sector can make better decisions about their adoption and use of 5G as a tool for optimizing efficiency, productivity, and financial performance. The combination of 5G and Hitachi’s platform technology has the potential to transform industries across North America. Hitachi will continue to create innovative solutions through “Lumada x 5G” to catalyze changes in business infrastructure, improve business continuity and resilience, and add value for customers.
Jayraj Ugarkar is Associate Vice President, Industry Solutions, Hitachi Vantara.
Hitachi Begins Testing of 5G Powered Industrial IoT Solutions at its Silicon Valley Research Center in California
Contact Hitachi to begin your journey of unlocking the potential of 5G.
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