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Smart production and logistics provide significant 5G prospects

by | Dec 27, 2021 | 5G, Connectivity

At the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, we met Yachen Gong a Research Fellow from the competence center 5G.NRM in Germany to learn more about the 5G trends shaping Europe.

This post was produced in collaboration with The5GExchange.com

A story by Diana Blass and Jo Kassis.

Diana is Kurrant Insights’ Editor-in-Chief and video director. She is passionate about technologies that have a real impact on people.

Jo is an IoT-focused content strategist. He creates in-depth reports to keep our readers up to date on the newest industry developments.

Yachen Gong spoke with us about the Analysys Mason study that looks into the four most important sectors in the whole 5G ecosystem across Europe.

She explained that “they define a 5G Open Innovation Platform in which they include four clusters: Smart production and logistics, Smart rural, Smart urban and Smart public services. For each of those clusters they conducted an in-depth analysis that determined that the highest revenue is generated from the smart production and logistics cluster.” She adds that “if we go to the use case level, the highest economic benefit to the European GDP is generated by smart factories, in fixed wireless access and in agriculture”.

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According to the study, 5G will drive €200 billion in value across Europe. The researchers base the expected benefits on the outcomes derived from several European trials like this one here deployed by the UK water utility provider Northumbria Water, who use 5G augmented reality to remotely inspect assets. Researchers go on to say that the €200 billion benefit comes at a cost of €50 billion meaning technology will deliver over four times the benefits than what it will cost taxpayers and vendors.

BUT WHEN WILL IT ALL BECOME REALITY?

Joe Dignan, European Head Government Insights at IDC states that “There’s so much hype around the 5G, and I have great difficulty finding real examples of where 5G is actually working.” It’s a sentiment echoed in this article by the Financial Times titled “Europe falls further behind US & Asia in 5G rollout”, which states that Europe’s 5G deployments are lagging behind those in America and Asia. Experts blame heavy handed and inconsistent regulations on the slow down and go on to say that freeing up spectrum could change that.

For Dignan “The biggest thing the U.S. telco industry could potentially do is to create more connectivity in rural areas.” Gong tells us that “for example, the agriculture vertical in small rural, it’s not happening a lot right now, but if you look at the 5G funded computation from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, digitalization, energy and innovation, you can definitely see two contexts standing out from the second round, which are exactly in the sector of smart rural. This did not happen in the first round, which indicates a trend that is definitely taking off right now.

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SOME 5G USE CASES ARE STARTING TO EMERGE IN EUROPE 

In Gong’s home country of Germany, initiatives are underway to streamline 5G deployments, specifically, her region of North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the few areas to dedicate public funding to 5G innovation. Gong mentions “one of our partners, Technical University of Dortmund have developed a very practical tool called the “campus network planner” that helps companies calculate the cost of setting up their own private network in Germany”.

And with that, new use cases are being developed such as “5G inclusion 4.0 that focuses on the inclusion of people with impairment in the primary labor market given that by law there should be at least a 5% employment rate of severely disabled people, which is pretty challenging for a lot of companies. But at the same time, a lot of companies really struggle to find a qualified workforce. So, the project uses 5G technology to help these people get access to work with technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, and smart glasses for example”.

It all comes as the pandemic shines a light on the value of connectivity in mobile networks, which is why Europe has named 5G as a key lever in its economic recovery. The EU has dedicated as much as €150 billion for digital investments from its stimulus package. But will that be enough for the EU to catch up in the 5G race?

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Diana Blass and Jo Kassis Photo

A story by Diana Blass and Jo Kassis.

Diana is Kurrant Insights’ Editor-in-Chief and video director. She is passionate about technologies that have a real impact on people.

Jo is an IoT-focused content strategist. He creates in-depth reports to keep our readers up to date on the newest industry developments.

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