Private 5G and MEC: Application across Industries and Benefits
One of the major promises of 5G, the fifth generation of cellular networks, is faster connectivity, speed, ultra-low latency, and greater bandwidth. It is not only transforming industries but dramatically improving their day-to-day experiences. Services such as better e-health, faster-connected vehicles, traffic systems, and even advanced mobile cloud gaming that we expected to see in the future are becoming a reality.
However, achieving low latency and serving throughput devices in a secure environment requires a dense network of Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) data centers. Multi-Access Edge Computing also known as Mobile Edge Computing extends the capabilities of the cloud by creating computing environments at the edge of the network. The increasing reliance of users on mobile devices to carry out compute and storage-intensive operations require offloading to the cloud.
As data applications are processed closer to the end-user devices with MEC, rather than a centralized data center, the latency is minimized manifold, and bandwidth performance is better optimized. This article talks about the applications of private 5G and MEC in various industries, their implementation challenges, and their benefits.
Private 5G and MEC – A Powerful Combination
Edge computing is often expected to go hand in hand with 5G. The two are not interdependent, yet the combination can bring great value to enterprises. Combining a MEC with a private 5G network helps them address computing challenges as it can flexibly move their workloads from the cloud to their local premises. It also offers better performance, control, and reliability to edge computing along with an improved quality of service.
A Private 5G network in MEC makes the most sense for businesses that highly depend on real-time insights for fast decision-making and operations. It offers them a secure and dedicated computing platform that delivers ultra-low latency within large areas, for example, factories and warehouses. With such a low latency, businesses can easily tap into near real-time data analysis and delivery.
Applications of Private 5G and MEC across different industries
Businesses and organizations operating across a variety of industries can leverage MEC integrated private 5G network to enhance their existing operations. It also helps them discover new ways to improve customer engagement and enhance the network environment.
The following is the list of verticals where MEC and private 5G are gaining traction:
1. Events and Venues
Private 5G with MEC drives innovative applications of AR/VR for events like concerts, performances, sports, and theme parks. It is best used to enhance experiences as AR/VR applications are data and graphic-intensive especially used for visualization of large 3D data sets. These data sets can be easily offloaded from mobile devices to high-performing private networks and stream the output over a variety of AR/VR/3D streaming protocols.
Private 5G and Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) promise a more connected and effective healthcare system by supporting the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). It speeds up data transfer for real-time solutions, and connects IoMT devices, to the managed servers and databases that keep track of them. 5G technology also opens up new horizons for delivering remote healthcare services to patients around the world.
Following are the few ways, private 5G in MEC is turning antiquated healthcare systems into smart hospitals.
- Telehealth – Faster network speeds will allow doctors to engage remotely with patients, especially in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, and provide quality care without worrying about network blackouts, disconnections, or lag time.
- Compute large medical data – Adding a private high-speed 5G network to the existing architecture helps quickly transfer large data files between doctors and hospitals. This reduces the time that would otherwise be needed and help doctors get results quickly. Other benefits include agile setups of equipment, real-time diagnostics, rapid access to radiological scams, and local processing of sensitive data.
- Real-time remote monitoring – 5G connected wearable devices enable healthcare providers to remotely monitor their patients and gather real-time data. Doctors can use this data to offer better preventive care and individually tailored healthcare provisions. They can deliver treatment seamlessly to chronically ill patients with more reliable, always-on mobile personal emergency response systems.
Related Reading: 4 Ways IIoT is revolutionizing the Pharma Industry
3. Shipping and Airports
Thermal scanners and cameras at airports record multiple gigabytes of information every hour. With 5G plus MEC technology this recorded data can be processed locally instead of in the cloud. Since the computing work takes place in the device itself, crucial information such as passenger security, safety monitoring, passenger temperature screening, and social distancing enforcement, can be communicated to airport staff instantaneously. Moreover, with access to real-time information and processing taking place locally, sensitive data can be protected at the source.
4. Manufacturing Industries
Private MEC with 5G addresses many Industry 4.0 initiatives for the manufacturing industry. Right from providing a high-performance, low-latency edge service for industrial control and automation to computer vision for video surveillance and safety, inventory monitoring, and updating. Along with this, AR/VR technology can be used to drive innovative applications and improve productivity.
For manufacturing production, private MEC with 5G facilitates predictable, low-latency connectivity between factory floors and data acquisition devices. This enables a deeper understanding between IT and operational technology (OT) systems and ensures improved performance.
5. Education Industry
Though wifi is widely used in schools and universities to deliver connectivity, it comes with its own set of challenges. It is unreliable, not much secure, and offers minimum coverage across campus. On the other hand, private 5G and MEC improve network speed and performance by reducing latency, promoting better connectivity and real-time internet for learners and teachers.
Just like every other industry, schools are using AR features such as AR flashcards, worksheets, and AR labs and class experiments, to facilitate creative and interactive learning. Private 5G along with Mobile Edge Computing improves the functioning of AR schools, making them more realistic and adaptable for learning, especially in times of the pandemic.
6. Smart City
Private 5G and MEC with their potential for faster speeds, lower latency, and increased bandwidth can accelerate the development of smart cities. It processes data closer to the end-user, connects more devices per square meter, and supports the proliferation and scalability of sensors and data collection in an urban environment thereby helping to reduce operating costs.
Additionally, private networking helps to better prioritize, segment, and manage traffic flows within the cities. It will be an essential building block for autonomous and connected vehicles, helping them to communicate with each other in real-time and processing data received from sensors and cameras installed on streets.
In case of novel safety and security concerns, 5G helps officials to respond more quickly and efficiently. Drivers will be able to see things that usually human eyes take time to register and react to, preventing accidents and saving lives.
Benefits of implementing private 5G and MEC
Some of the major benefits of integrating 5G with MEC are remote operations, precision monitoring, and virtual desktop infrastructure. It also improves upon the existing network challenges and enables flexible deployment of new applications for networks to stay updated with modern infrastructure. Other benefits include,
- Simplified User Experience: Since integrating 5G with MEC will remove network complexities, it will simplify the end-user experiences of enterprise customers. As one standard interface will be enough for functionality, the network will become easier to scale and require less support.
- Infrastructure Benefits: 5G and MEC integration offers distributed infrastructure, and reduces space and operational costs by eliminating the need for expensive data centers. It also reduces the need for cloud data storage and consecutively saves transport costs.
How iLink can be your right MEC partner?
With its global network and reach, iLink has the technical experts to support your mobile edge computing journey. We focus on positioning data facilities where they’re needed the most for better network and IT connectivity. So that you can stand out from your competitors just like we do.
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