5G Technology: The Challenges and the Future

March 22, 2024
Although adopting a new technology like 5G comes with challenges, there is potential in its adoption to enable innovative solutions in the manufacturing industry.

“I think there's a general set of challenges that exist for any...relatively new technology,” Michael Weller, practice lead for manufacturing, energy and utilities at Verizon Business, told Machine Design in this last of a three-part series about demystifying 5G technology.

One major hurdle is balancing the implementation of a new technology with ongoing operational priorities without disrupting production. Establishing a clear business case for the value generated by 5G is difficult due to the lack of baseline data. Also, there is a misconception that 5G is only relevant for urban areas, overlooking the potential of private cellular networks that are tailored to individual facilities. And then there is the need for network infrastructure to support data-intensive visual technologies, like augmented reality and virtual reality.

Despite these challenges, Weller said it is important to recognize the benefits of shifting away from copper cabling—not just in terms of cost and flexibility—but also to improve sustainability goals. And leveraging AR, VR and video analytics in the factory setting can help improve problem solving, collaboration and job attraction as well as retention.

“Visual is the future,” he said.

Watch additional parts of this interview series with Michael Weller of Verizon Business:

Part 1: Demystifying 5G Technology: Impacts, Health Concerns and Adoption

Part 2: See What Can’t Be Seen with 5G—and Protect it, Too

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