Private 5G is Required for New Cloud, Edge, and IoT Innovations

Photo of author
Written By Ishika Chauhan

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur pulvinar ligula augue . 

All enterprises have focused on expanding their digital transformation. Kurt Schaubach (CTO at Federated Wireless) discusses how private 5G is needed to fully leverage the IoT, edge, and new cloud innovations.

You may have seen signs of a sea shift in the enterprise technology sector. We've been discussing digital transformation as an industry for many years. But we tend to speak in future-oriented terms. Vendors and technology journalists suddenly seem to have more concrete images. Three converging trends in technology can be credited: edge, cloud, and the Internet of Things.

Forward-looking businesses are using IoT and new edge solutions to connect and automate operations across factories, farms, hospitals, and other locations. They are running complex computationally-intensive workloads such as advanced analytics and machine learning locally, and then immediately acting upon those insights. It's equally important that those who invest in IoT and early edge initiatives are putting a stake in the ground to transform their businesses, or their entire industry, before the competition.

This change has been closely monitored by enterprises from every sector. Many are now looking at IoT and edge investments to help them in their digital transformation. Some overlook the most important part of this story, however. The existing infrastructure, which is typically legacy Wi-Fi, can't offer the required performance, security, or control to enable IoT innovation and transformative edge. This is the first lesson. If you invest in digital transformation, upgrading connectivity should also be part of that process.

Good news: Private 5G is helping businesses to rethink their enterprise operations. Private wireless is a great platform for digital transformation projects and gives you an early competitive advantage.

A Foundation for Transformation

Businesses can't get the most out of digital transformation using legacy infrastructures. These infrastructures don't have the capability to deliver the innovative capabilities that businesses require, such as higher performance and lower latency.

  • Imagine a manufacturer looking to digitally transform its business. They are looking to automate factories with robotics and autonomous cars and continuously optimize end-to-end operations through real-time analytics, machine learning, and real-time analysis. They will need Ultra-Reliable Low Latency connectivity to control the automated equipment.
  • Local edge computing to analyze real-time data, and take action.
  • Edge storage is used to store huge amounts of data generated by their environment.
  • End-to-end encryption to protect sensitive equipment, and keep confidential data private.

Legacy Wi-Fi is not an option due to its inconsistency and latency, as well as the lack of options to connect to and securely secure autonomous equipment. Although the manufacturer could purchase connectivity from a wireless carrier to connect, this comes with its own problems: higher costs and a lack of privacy.

There's an alternative that meets demanding application requirements, and it doesn't require Wi-Fi or telco connectivity issues: Private 5G. The manufacturer could link factories from end to end using private wireless with the correct performance and security. They would be able to keep their connectivity in full control and all data on-premise. They could also design a cloud-native business structure, which will make it easier to add edge and IoT capabilities later on.

Evaluation of Private 5G Options

After businesses have made the commitment to upgrade their connectivity, the next question is: Where do you begin? There are many options available from vendors, carriers, and cloud providers. However, not all private 5G solutions are created equal. Your Private 5G solution must meet these three key criteria:

  • Private wireless should operate over a shared spectrum. Private wireless should provide next-generation performance, security, and management that is fully independent of the enterprise. It is possible to get private 5G from a mobile operator, but it may not be truly private. You're really getting a network slice that is larger than a public network. Your traffic is often routed through an operator's network outside of your premises. Worse, you are now dependent on the operator to make changes for you. The infrastructure that supports these applications is also critical to your business when you invest in IoT and edge applications. It is important that you are able to maintain, fine-tune and update your infrastructure as rapidly as your business changes. You won't get that if you have to place an order with a carrier each time you need to make a change.
  • It should not be considered edge-native. As you use new edge services, it is better to have your connectivity built from scratch for cloud environments. Not a legacy solution that has been virtualized to run in an edge computing platform. Your wireless network will be cloud-native and you'll enjoy the same scalability as your cloud footprint. The wireless infrastructure can be used in the same way as other cloud software. This allows for DevOps models and continuous updates. It also makes it easy to integrate with the large developer community that creates cloud applications. Your infrastructure is part of the ecosystem from day one, whether you want to modify your platform or scale it.
  • It should really be 5G. Some of the emerging wireless options, such as Wi-Fi 6, offer 5G capabilities. These solutions can be cost-effective and high-value solutions for many traditional enterprise applications. For truly transformative innovations, such as robotic automation, real-time analysis, digital twins, and others, you will need the reliability and security that only 5G can provide.

Building for The Future

Businesses can be transformed by new cloud, edge, and IoT apps. You need to make sure that your connectivity is in order if you are going to reap the benefits of these new investments.

While no one knows what the future holds, we can predict that some businesses will soon realize the limits of their connectivity after they have tried new edge and IoT applications. Then, they will need to scramble for the time lost. You can build digital transformation using shared spectrum private 5G to ensure that you are part of the transformative changes in your industry.

Leave a Comment