Although 5G is currently in the headlines, most everyday IoT applications run on its 4G predecessor and will continue to do so until the end of the decade, according to Colin Abrey of Nextivity
The Internet of Things (IoT), from a high-level perspective, refers to a network of physical devices, such as embedded sensors, driverless vehicles, smartphones/tablets, wearables, or home appliances, which create and share information wirelessly without human intervention. .
And while IoT is very much in vogue right now, it’s a technology capability that’s been around for at least 10 years with interconnected devices and applications prevalent in industry and consumables.
What has changed recently are the increased capabilities of in-vehicle devices, the standardization of communication protocols, and more affordable computing. This, along with a shift in work trends, has given a boost to the IoT phenomenon and as such is transforming business processes and product lifecycles across all markets and applications.
The advent of 5G with its super-fast speeds and ultra-low latency capabilities has been central to this acceleration, especially when it comes to industrial IoT. In fact, this next-generation network has brought major innovations in silicon design fundamental to the intelligence of IoT devices and technologies, and as such they are able to capture an ever-changing array of data that are necessary for a truly intelligent world. .
IoT supports businesses with sustainability goals
IoT technologies are deployed at all levels. By manufacturing and supply chain companies for operational reasons, by social housing owners to increase mobility and well-being, by insurance companies to combat fraudulent claims, and by organizations of health for traceability and accountability purposes, the possibilities are endless.
Additionally, the IoT helps companies in all sectors achieve their sustainability goals by enabling them to reduce their overall energy and water consumption, and ultimately their operating costs, through better understanding and detailed follow-up.
It’s worth pointing out though that the vast majority of IoT applications in operation today don’t run on 5G networks, but on existing cellular networks, which begs the question of why. The answer is its universal availability. According to a report by Search for counterpoint 4G will continue to be the dominant cellular connectivity technology used by IoT devices until 2028 and it is only after that date that 5G will become the dominant IoT player.
Although the deployment of outdoor 5G coverage is in full swing, it is by no means common and many existing 5G-enabled devices are still switching between 4G and 5G services, impacting the performance and reliability of the device. ‘IoT.
5G networks may well offer much higher speeds, but the trade-off is a shorter propagation range (5G uses the
This means that Industry 4.0 technologies such as digital twins, autonomous robots or AI-powered additive manufacturing are off-limits to anyone other than top-tier companies that have the bandwidth and budgets to do so. commissioning a private 5G mobile network.
A lack of 5G infrastructure at operator level
Mobile signal quality depends on a range of factors, including location, topography, number of users, and services used. When said signal has to penetrate the physical attributes of a building, performance immediately degrades by default. The only way to overcome the dilemma of poor mobile coverage is to bring the outdoor signal indoors using additional equipment, most of which is not yet fully 5G compatible.
The 5G coverage scenario is further exacerbated by an infrastructure deficit at the carrier level. Until TelCos and TowerCos are able to upgrade their infrastructure at scale with the cloud and backhaul capabilities needed for 5G, 4G will continue to be the backbone of legacy IoT systems and communications. business critical.
Manufacturing companies, large factories, industrial warehouses, etc. have historically limited their communications infrastructure investments to specific areas of a building – rest areas, canteens and administrative offices – due to perceived high costs. As a result, many areas of the shop floor, as well as incoming and outgoing goods handling areas, lack any cellular connectivity.
And this has an impact on the use of IoT as a mobile phone signal is required for their operability. There is also the health and safety aspect to consider as the trigger mechanism for mandatory damage detection systems, predictive maintenance technologies and indeed all other M2M communications is cellular.
Investments in 4G communications will continue for the foreseeable future
If businesses are serious about taking advantage of the IoT revolution, the most logical strategy is to ensure seamless coverage of existing 4G services. 4G is going to be the underlying enabler of most IoT systems and processes for the foreseeable future and as such any investment made in 4G infrastructure will last for some time in addition to ensuring that an organization is ready. for the future for the country’s new audience. The Security Network (ESN) is on track to go mainstream in 2024. 5G capabilities can then be integrated as deployments scale up and more real-world use cases unfold.