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|Denis Brunetti, president of Ericsson Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos|
At the global level, 5G network deployments already started last year with the first round of 5G experiences in countries like Australia, Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, including 5G trials in Vietnam. This is expected to ramp up in 2020, building the foundation for the massive adoption of 5G across the consumer and enterprise markets, digitally transforming all industries and society over time.
With ultra-reliability, lower latency, faster data transmission rates, and unique network slicing capabilities, 5G will serve consumers, enterprises, and industries, taking the Internet of Things (IoT) to the next level, where superior connectivity and security is a fundamental prerequisite.
The ICT industry is spurring digitalisation and growth of many other industries. In fact, the future of the industry is to digitally transform all others. The combination of 5G and digitalisation creates new opportunities for telecoms service providers to build and extend their businesses beyond connectivity.
Ericsson’s 5G for Business: A 2030 Market Compass has identified 5G applications such as enhanced video services and real-time automation as opportunities across industries like manufacturing, healthcare, energy and utilities, transportation, infrastructure, and more. Fast, secure, reliable, and responsive, 5G will allow businesses to be wirelessly connected and increase safety and security whilst driving efficiency and productivity improvements.
The next wave of 5G expansions will allow businesses of all types to reap the benefits of enhanced mobility, flexibility, reliability, and security, and provide an entirely new range of possibilities for service providers.
Another Ericsson case study, Bringing 5G to Power, addresses in detail the business value associated with introducing mobile connectivity into electricity distribution networks. The study reveals that to deliver all the benefits required by regulators and face the changes imposed by the market and consumers, a truly smart grid needs a smart critical communications network. The requirements that today’s distribution service operators have to meet can be divided into three major categories. First, there are the requirements that could be summed up as resiliency and reliability. Power distribution networks need to be self-healing – a smart grid should mitigate power outages and service disruptions automatically. It should also be resilient to disasters – smart grid operators need to isolate affected areas and redirect power flows.
Secondly, there are considerations relating to supporting new power generation and storage resources, and third, operational efficiency prerequisites should be taken into consideration.
Mainly for environmental reasons, power grids are pushed to optimise assets and utilisation, reducing waste and maximising use of lowest-cost generation resources and improving use of existing grid assets, while reducing grid congestion and bottlenecks.
They are also used to provide higher power quality, assuring a more stable power supply by using smart grid technologies which will reduce downtime and prevent high losses.
In recent years, many studies have been conducted with a principal focus on assessing LTE and 5G cellular broadband technologies and comparing them with other alternatives. Most of these studies have showed the growing role 5G has to play as the “best fit” for addressing these emerging challenges and use cases.
The communications network and the energy network are becoming increasingly interdependent. In order for a smart grid to be dynamic, secure, and resilient as well as delivering all the benefits mentioned above, it needs a smart communications network.
The distribution grid of the future needs to be built on flexible and reliable infrastructure that can handle the fundamental changes happening to the generation and distribution of power, as well as the new patterns of consumption. And as the smart grid and smart communications network begin to go hand-in-hand, it will be possible to face the challenges that lie ahead.
In another example, Ericsson and China Unicom, the world’s fourth-largest mobile service provider by subscriber base, are developing a 5G smart harbour at the port of Qingdao in China. Qingdao is among the top ten busiest ports in the world, processing approximately 19.3 million containers every year. The port has been operating Asia’s first fully-automated harbour since 2017 and will continue to be at the forefront of port innovation by using 5G.
The partners, in collaboration with leading port machinery manufacturer Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., Ltd., achieved several ground-breaking accomplishments as part of their six-month 5G smart harbour technical solution verification in late 2018. This includes an automated ship-to-shore crane that lifted a container over a 5G connection operated from the control centre.
The 5G connection included data traffic from more than 30 high-definition cameras as well as control data for a programmable logic controller. These operations required millisecond-level latency control signals, as well as stable, remote, and real-time control, requirements which only key 5G technologies can deliver. This 5G smart harbour solution is not only applicable to the port at Qingdao but can also be replicated with many other harbours and industries
With consumer and personal communication-centric commercial 5G networks already live around the globe, the next wave of 5G expansion will allow businesses to digitalise with more mobility, flexibility, reliability, and security – taking IoT and industrial applications to never-before-seen levels.