What Is the Future of 5G in Enterprise Networks?
5G is designed to have higher performance, the ability to manage thousands of devices, and extremely low latency. These attributes mean enterprises around the world are at least evaluating 5G for a broad variety of use cases. 5G technology shows a great deal of potential for many industries that rely on ultra-reliable networks, such as autonomous cars, smart cities, and manufacturing.
How Is 5G Different?
5G goes far beyond what our current 4G networks are capable of in terms of performance, capacity, and latency. However, this next generation of cellular technology is more than a simple upgrade. 5G’s improvements in reliability and its ability to provide deterministic and highly predictable wireless connections are paving the way for entirely new business applications, services, and significantly changing how we communicate with devices and each other.
Of the many improvements, enhancements in latency and capacity are two of the most transformative benefits 5G offers. Both consumers and businesses will be able to utilize these upgrades to experience seamless augmented reality, implement ubiquitous Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and orchestrate autonomous vehicles from across the country.
The future of 5G in the enterprise will be similar to how 4G ushered in the smartphone era. Before 4G, 3G networks struggled to support web content, let alone streaming video. Without 4G technology, smartphone apps like Uber and others, as well as mobile data, streaming simply couldn’t exist in the way we know it today. As 5G’s future grows closer, we find ourselves in a similar position, with new unexpected new services and technologies on the cusps of introduction.
What Is 5G Used for Now?
Today 5G is more than just a buzzword and can be found in most major cities and some enterprise environments. Rather than relying on big-name carriers, many organizations are taking back control of their data and budget by designing their own private 5G networks.
In the past, CEOs looking to scale were subject to carrier fees and overage charges while IT staff struggled to integrate a cookie-cutter solution into their environment. With the advent of the CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service) unlicensed spectrum band and new consumer-friendly hardware, enterprises can own and control their own 5G networks similar to how enterprise Wi-Fi is deployed.
Thanks to plug-and-play hardware, software templates, and intuitive setup wizards, any company with an IT department can start leveraging the power of 5G. At Celona, private 5G integrates seamlessly with the existing IT infrastructure, allowing both Wi-Fi and 5G networks to work in tandem.
One of the earliest adopters of 5G has been the manufacturing industry, with some “smart factories” already in operation today.
Industrial and manufacturing companies use 5G’s increased capacity and low latency to support Industrial IoT (IIoT) sensors, automated robotics, and driverless vehicles across the property. Even older facilities with analog machines can leverage 5G Local Area Networks (LANs) to improve their performance and gain valuable insights into their environment.
IIoT sensors can report changes in temperature, pressure, conductivity, and revolutions among dozens of other metrics. When paired with machine learning, these sensors help avoid downtime through preventive maintenance and help maintenance staff automatically prioritize work orders based on impact.
In the future of the 5G LAN, smart factories will pull insights from all machines to prevent downtime, control autonomous machines, and calculate efficiency in real time.
The healthcare industry is just scratching the surface of what 5G LANs can do for both staff and patients. Today, healthcare facilities use private 5G to track supplies, access clinical apps, and access patient health information securely. Since cellular networks operate on a different spectrum than Wi-Fi, hospitals can use both wireless technologies without inference or downtime.
IoT sensors can remotely monitor EKG machines, dialysis pumps, and respirators through 5G networks. With an ultra-low latency 5G connection, doctors can receive live alerts of their most critical patients while maintenance technicians can prioritize work orders to keep life-saving equipment online and available.
In the future of 5G, 5G will make traveling to see expert surgeons a thing of the past. Specialists will perform surgery from across the country through a combination of finely tuned robotics and 5G connections.
In the past, electric and gas meters would require a manual inspection from “meter readers.” Today, smart meters not only help consumers control their thermostats but also enable utility companies to track consumption remotely at scale.
By using multi-band 5G, service providers can track meter readings from densely populated cities to rural communities. This helps provide more accurate billing and allows customers to track their usage through public-facing tools. When paired with machine learning, service companies can analyze these insights to identify potential meter fraud.
While electric and gas companies begin to leverage 5G, plenty of other services could benefit by adopting a similar strategy. In the future of 5G, we may see waste management monitor dumpsters to forecast demand or water companies using IoT to prevent water main breaks.
How 5G Will Help Businesses
5G will help enterprises and large organizations scale reliably and gain insights into their operations in ways that are currently not possible. While the performance benefits of 5G are typically talked about in great detail, one of the greatest advantages of 5G is the ability to own your own private 5G network, much in the same way companies own their own Wi-Fi network today. This is what a 5G LAN is all about.
For years organizations have relied on commercial carriers and managed service providers to access 4/5G services for their own business purposes. While this model proved to be convenient, it limited the control and scalability of the service.
On a private 5G LAN, businesses can design networks that fit their needs and budget without being subject to unexpected charges or resource throttling during peak hours. With full control, IT staff can integrate and sync service level agreements (SLAs) across the entire network.
For example, healthcare providers can create rules to ensure life-saving equipment always receives adequate network resources, even when the hospital is at maximum capacity. With these rules in place, artificial intelligence continuously monitors the network and makes necessary changes dynamically to ensure SLAs are never broken.
5G service managed across private infrastructure creates an ecosystem of unmatched performance, control, and reliability. Celona works with organizations to ensure their 5G networks are successful. From device provisioning and licensing to infrastructure and management, Celona helps companies deploy cellular networks and plan for the 5G future ahead.
The Celona Solution
Celona partners with organizations to provide private 5G networks and 5G LANs as a seamless turnkey solution. Plug-and-play CBRS devices can be quickly deployed throughout the facility, while proactive monitoring ensures network SLAs, such as throughput and latency requirements, are consistently being met.
Celona uses edgeless enterprise architecture and cloud-based artificial intelligence to make implementing private mobile networks an out-of-box experience. Onboarding can be done alongside existing wireless and IT infrastructure, without interrupting business operations.
If you’re building your network for the future, Celona can help. Check out our private LTE network planner to see what your network would look like on the CBRS, or test-drive the Celona Solution Architecture in a 5G LAN for yourself through our free trial.
See a Celona 5G LAN in action and learn the basics