Large Application of 5G Networks

The commercial use of 5G networks is starting in the world, and this was the opportunity to talk to Zhang Heng, CEO of Huawei Technologies Croatia, who points out that many applications are expected in various segments of the economy of smart manufacturing, remote health care, smart agriculture. He points out that 5G will have a big impact on fixed wireless access.

"We see the demand for private mobile networks, both previous generations of mobile networks, but especially on 5G. These demands are driven by increased demands for data, security, mobility, and digitization in general by modern universities and businesses. It allows them to increase efficiency, apply automation or simply offers the introduction of new services”, Heng points out.

How will 5G be applied in practice, which applications are realistically possible in the short term?

There are countless opportunities which 5G can and will bring in the future. Some of those opportunities we can already identify (like remote education, smart manufacturing, remote healthcare, smart agriculture) and some are currently unknown to us but will certainly become crucial in the future. From those we can identify already, we feel that the applications related to Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) will be realized first.

This means that 5G will bring increased mobile data speeds to 5G users which will enable then a significantly smoother and faster experience of accessing digital content over the Internet. For example, users will be able to have high-definition video call or stream 4k or 8k video content directly to their handheld devices.

Another very realistic use case is Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) over 5G which can bring high-speed internet access to remote or rural areas in cases where deployment of classic FTTH network would take or long or is too complicated

For the other use cases, like smart manufacturing, remote healthcare or smart agriculture, will also come soon – but, since they are a bit more complex to implement on the service provider and end-user side, not as soon as these applications we mentioned above.

Can you point out some good and some bad sides of IoT application on NBIoT or 5G networks?

The question is, I guess, related to how, or rather where, the IoT applications are being hosted: in unlicensed or licensed spectrum. In the case where IoT applications are hosted on NBIoT or 5G networks, they are of course hosted on the licensed part of the spectrum, which means that there are certain fees that apply to the usage of said spectrum resources. Therefore IoT applications on NBIoT or 5G networks are mainly aimed at and used by telco operators with pre-existing MBB networks.

However, using NBIoT or 5G for IoT applications has its advantages in terms of coverage, spectrum efficiency, data rate, power consumption, reliability, carrier-class network security and cost of modules/devices and is therefore usually presented as the superior choice.

How can 5G realize the vision of Industry 4.0?

At Huawei we are doing our best to facilitate a fast and safe transfer to Industry 4.0 by delivering new 5G products and services to the manufacturing industry.

This is mostly related to 5G providing E2E connectivity with very low latency and guaranteed quality of service which then brings I4.0 to the next level by enabling the use of augmented reality, manufacturing automation and smart logistics.

In short, in order for I4.0 to fully realize its potential, it needs to use 5G as the method by which it enables fast and secure connections of all participants in the design, manufacturing and delivery process.

How is the development of 5G VPN solutions for universities, companies progressing? What are the first results in the application?

We see a demand for private mobile networks, both previous generations of mobile networks, but especially on 5G. These demands are being driven by increased data, security, mobility and general digitization requirements that modern universities or companies are currently facing with the final idea of increasing efficiency, of implementing automation or just with the idea of providing new services.

We also see a demand for both cases of deployment scenarios of private networks: completely physically isolated private 5G networks (so-called 5G islands) and private 5G networks built by sharing the mobile operator’s public 5G network resources.

From our point of view, we can see that several industries have found their application scenarios, but the best cases examples at the moment maybe come from manufacturing industry which is deploying 5V private networks in order to satisfy the requirements for high density, high capacity, low latency services in indoor and outdoor scenarios. For example such is the case where Haier, Huawei and China mobile have optimized Haier’s manufacturing performance through 5G, Edge Computing and Machine Vision.

Or an example from the transport industry where KPN, Shell, ABB, Huawei and ExRobotics have tested the industrial 5G-applications in Rotterdam harbor in the Netherlands

What is the potential of 5G in healthcare?

In the current circumstances of this global pandemic caused by the Covid19 virus we find ourselves in, the topic of how technology can help provide better and faster medical care to all is of utmost importance.

As a first step, It is especially important that we understand how 5G can help us to overcome the pandemic – and them, as a second step, implement said knowledge and learned best practices for future general improvement of healthcare.

And in the fight with the pandemic, 5G can do much. For example we can use 5G drones connected to 5G networks to combat the virus by patrolling streets, sharing information about the anti-epidemic efforts, disinfecting streets and buildings, coordinating traffic, and transporting urgent goods like medicine. We can use 5G-enabled remote collaboration to improving resource sharing, diagnoses and treatment. We can use 5G-powered remote scans for contactless, mobile diagnosis and treatment. We can deploy 5G-enabled unmanned disinfection, delivery, and temperature checks to ensure secure supplies to affected areas.

These are just some of the examples showing that the potential is indeed quite big and we should all work together to realize said potential as soon as possible for the benefit of all.

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