How 5G is transforming the nature of work in Manufacturing

by Ande Hazard, Vice-President, Manufacturing and Transportation Solutions for AT&T Business

Ande Hazard, Vice-President, Manufacturing and Transportation Solutions for AT&T Business, recently sat down with SME to discuss how 5G is projected to be a catalyst for innovation in manufacturing.

Here is an excerpt from that discussion:


Q: What is 5G, and why is it important to your business?

Ande: 5G is the fifth generation of cellular wireless technology, offering greater speed, lower latency, and higher bandwidth. 5G, using C-band spectrum, helps enable manufacturers to do more with the expansion of Internet of Things (IoT). 5G and edge computing will optimize operations between sensors, cameras, and machines. It’ll also provide manufacturers with huge amounts of data they can act upon in real time and offer virtually infinite revolutionary use cases. 5G is the connectivity behind it.


Q: What is latency, and why is it important?

Ande: Network latency is the time required for a data set to travel between two points. 5G today has tested around 10 milliseconds for processing of data with the goal to be in millimeter wave of one millisecond. That’s the kind of speed that will happen as the 5G network continues to build out, creating a new realm of almost instant data processing and unlocking new opportunities in manufacturing.


Q: What kind of challenges do you hear from customers around 5G?

Ande: Even the most ambitious and sophisticated customers can struggle with technology, infrastructure, and road mapping, as well as finding executive support for the investment. It’s not just a capital investment challenge, but it’s understanding what the future yield will be of any investment and wondering what the next-gen solution should be. Manufacturers are trying to bring new opportunities, new products, or new ways to sell their products faster. They’re wanting to transform the monetization of this product offer while building direct models for engaging customers and growing business. Modernization is imperative. In the future, we will see enhancements in performance management, asset intelligence, smart warehousing, digital twinning, sensing and detecting, dynamic scheduling – the use cases are virtually infinite.


Q: Why should a manufacturer care about 5G?

Ande: Think about how important manufacturing is to the U.S. and global economies, as it touches transportation, retail, healthcare, and all other industries. If manufacturers take advantage of the emerging technologies with 5G – you can see the bigger picture and impact. How can we look at advanced robotics, vision systems, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence, and all that 5G enables?

If you think about 5G as an enablement of advanced technologies that will build your business faster with more intelligence and carry the data to make things work, that’s how manufacturers should think about 5G.

Read the entire Q&A