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How can verticals benefit from 5G?

By Dr. Jyrki Penttinen, Technology Manager, GSMA North America

5G is about to take off in a global level. The first services are readily available in limited areas while more operators have already started deploying 5G. We’ll also start to see many new 5G smart devices and other type of terminals making their way into commercial markets throughout the rest of 2019 and beyond.

Network Slicing, supported by the new virtualized network functions of 5G, refers to logical networks that an operator can create onto a desired coverage area in a highly dynamic manner. This is a groundbreaking difference compared to previous generations which only had one, uniform cellular network to be shared among all the users. By varying the characteristic of each network slice, operators can offer optimized service levels for different verticals such as automotive, drones, industrial manufacturing, and IoT sensors. As an example, one network slice can serve a big amount of simultaneously communicating, low-bitrate IoT devices, and another may serve latency-critical applications such as Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR).

Edge provides benefits for very low-latency services because an operator can move contents closer to the users within the core and radio networks. Also, the cloud edge serves to offload the processing of 5G user devices. One practical example of this is an AR/VR device, which, instead of processing demanding 3D video contents itself, may transfer the raw data to the cloud edge for post-processing and receive the results back with only minimum delay. Unlike in previous generations, a low-latency, high-bitrate 5G network slice can handle this use case combined with the edge.

These examples show only a small snapshot of the new benefits 5G is capable of offering. GSMA supports the members in various 5G-related topics such as Network Slice interoperability and in promoting 5G for AR/VR environments.

Please find more information on the GSMA activities at the Future Networks here.

Dr. Jyrki Penttinen has worked in mobile telecommunications in Finland, Spain, Mexico, and the USA. At present, he assists operator members with the adoption, design, development, and deployment of GSMA specifications and programmes. Dr. Penttinen has also authored various books on telecommunication technologies. Find more of his articles on LinkedIn.