If the debate on the deployment of cellular 5G in France arouses the enthusiasm of its supporters and the reservations of its detractors, the IoT, for its part, is still looking for a technology that would allow it to fully demonstrate its capabilities in terms of industry 4.0. and connected cities.
In recent months and years, business innovation, namely the search for technologies capable of improving performance and processes, has gone from accessory to necessity. In the large toolbox that should allow them to access it, the IoT occupies a prominent place.
Whether it’s improving industrial production capacity, optimizing the use of lighting in buildings, deploying a merchandise tracking system, ensuring employee safety at all times, or to create an urban logistics system, the adoption of technologies based on IoT is a source of innovation with enormous potential for companies.
In this context, the fifth generation (5G) of wireless technology is emerging as a promising technological opportunity to develop solutions that facilitate machine-to-machine communications in a fast, reliable and cost-effective manner. However, 5G is often portrayed as a technology worthy of a sci-fi storyline, revolutionary for endless IoT applications that previous generations of wireless technology could not provide. Can 5G really deliver on all of its promises, and is it suitable for all businesses?
A scope of use for cellular 5G more restricted than it seems
The ability to implement 5G on a large scale and for types of applications depends on its efficiency and cost. Unless cellular 5G for IoT overcomes its current shortcomings, it will not become a reality for everyone.
Cellular operators are not necessarily in the best position to solve the equation of a 5G solution for an IoT at scale and usable by all businesses. Operated 5G requires not only a substantial infrastructure, but also a substantial financial commitment over time – since it is necessary to pay to access the technology as well as to access the operated network. In addition, the storage and protection of data, or at least their oversight, must be left to the operators. 5G solutions for IoT have become increasingly complex. As businesses have invested in and become reliant on IoT, more planning has been required to deploy the networks and management costs have drifted. Many companies then tried to minimize costs and turn to technologies other than 5G. What promised to be a simple solution to implement could quickly turn into a waste of funds.
An autonomous 5G free from any infrastructure for Industry 4.0.
Timing, complexity and costs are the three major downsides of cellular 5G for connected objects. These obstacles are not, however, inevitable. A truly effective solution must have the mission of democratizing the IoT for the enterprise. This technology exists and it proposes to free IoT networks from any infrastructure. It can be installed by anyone, anywhere, in record time, and at a tenth the cost of competing technologies.
Thanks to the DECT-2020 NR standard, published last year by ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute), network elements can communicate directly with each other without calling on an operator or a service. , or to a network and equipment infrastructure. The network is built device after device. Each has a power equivalent to that of a base station. The combination of this decentralized approach with a dedicated 1.9 GHz spectrum, international and unlicensed, makes its benefits truly mainstream.
It also means that new entrants to the IoT can overcome the complexity of other solutions, while controlling their costs. The invention of this new standard opens the field to a very wide range of IoT applications, going beyond cellular solutions.
Finally, the low frequency of the network reduces energy consumption, a sine qua non for many IoT applications, in particular infrastructures for the connected city.
Technology at the service of the connected city
Over the past decade, for the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population has become urban. This dynamic is bound to intensify and is accompanied by monitoring and planning requirements. A sustainable environmental framework for smart cities also imposes a framework for the consumption of renewable energies.
Here again, the DECT-2020 NR standard will help the energy industry to get the most out of a centralized supply chain by transforming it into a decentralized system. Autonomously managed, relieved of unnecessary interventions, companies and communities directly draw on existing data to improve their decision-making and gain in efficiency.
In the case of DECT-2020 NR, repairing a network problem does not require intervention from the infrastructure providers, but simply consists of adding one or more devices to it. It operates independently.
Cellular 5G was designed for mobile telephony and for “consumer” use cases; it was not designed for industrial use cases. Telecom operators won’t challenge themselves, but if they don’t face the issues of timing, complexity and cost, those issues will remain. The IoT, unlike telecoms, can do without antennas.