Proponents make the case for 4.9G wireless technology as a stepping stone to 5G to empower new Industry 4.0 applications, from cobots to augmented reality-enabled predictive maintenance.
Yet with 5G standardization still on-going and industrial use case roll outs only in early pilot stages, experts say manufacturers shouldn’t stand still waiting for 5G technologies and compatible products to coalesce into a full-scale ecosystem. Rather, they advise manufacturers to move forward with mapping out new wireless communications strategies, use cases, and roll out plans built around the latest variation of 4.9G/LTE technology, which they claim can deliver for many of these new industrial applications while providing the most direct route to full 5G implementation.
“For 5G to be feasible for manufacturers and other industry segments, you are looking at a good five years plus,” says Stephane Daeuble, head of marketing for enterprise solutions at Nokia, which sells private wireless networks to the manufacturing sector. “The 4.9G/LTE solution that exists today, when deployed as a private network, tackles 85% of what’s required for industrial applications.”