5G: an overview of its future applications

The development of 5G in the coming years will open up a new world of possibilities in all sectors: industry, transport, entertainment, commerce, public sector, services and more. Take a look at the world of tomorrow with Olivier Wioland, Director of Mobile Network Marketing at Orange Business Services.

5G and workspaces

The first use cases based on 5G will pertain to company workspaces, whether they are physical or virtual. The capacities of 5G will enable a wider use of video and the manipulation of large files on the go (architectural plans for example), as well as a shift towards greater use of virtual, augmented or mixed reality.

These technologies will improve in quality and interactivity, which should promote their widespread use. For example, virtual reality will play a useful role in training and for distance meetings. Augmented reality glasses will enable technicians to intervene thanks to the remote assistance of engineers who will guide them in carrying out their operations. This type of device will limit travel and improve safety at work. These are applications that Orange Business Services is already implementing through co-innovation platforms. Another technology: working on digital twins (digital replicas) to carry out tests through trial and error without breaking equipment. These replicas offer substantial savings when used to optimize prototypes.

5G and Industry 4.0

A majority of analysts believe that Industry 4.0 will emerge as one of the first concrete applications of 5G and specialized services. Customers have already shown high expectations in this sector. However, the goal is not simply to connect a factory to the web, it is also about transforming business models, production methods, processes, etc. The densification of connected objects and real-time data analysis will play an essential part in environments where autonomous machines, humans and robots will work side by side.

By transporting data at real-time speed to nearby computing centers (edge computing), 5G will accelerate processing, analysis and decision making. Beyond connectivity, it's about supporting change so that the enterprise can take full advantage of the potential of 5G.

5G and sales

5G will also make it possible to manage orders in a very precise way. In the event of a problem on a production line, immediate feedback will recalculate the production plan right away and automatically inform the end customer of a possible delivery delay. It will also become possible to integrate connectivity into the product itself. In this way, it will communicate with artificial intelligence and offer predictive maintenance. It will also become possible to guide applications remotely via a hologram, showing the user exactly how to use the product and thus multiply the examples. In all these situations, it is truly a whole new field of possibility that opens up with 5G.

5G and transport

The rising number of connected vehicles is another important issue pertaining to 5G. With communication between vehicles, as well as other road users (pedestrians, cyclists, etc.) and even infrastructure (roads, traffic signals and traffic lights, for example), new applications may be developed to reduce accident rates and journey times in order to improve the flow of traffic. 5G will also enhance operational efficiency for transport professionals. The ability to download a large amount of content in near real time will enable ships, trains and aircraft to quickly retrieve navigation information and share refuelling and predictive maintenance data when docking, landing or arriving at stations.

5G and critical communications

In the future, it will be possible to host a vast range of critical communications in order to secure processes, goods and people. 5G will help facilitate enterprise security applications by powering connected security teams capable of responding to emergencies in real time. 5G will also improve fixed network performance until fiber is rolled out everywhere. Why not also secure fiber in 5G? This is the type of hybrid installation we are now exploring.

5G and the tactile Internet

What is the tactile Internet? It involves an object in my possession, such as a tactile glove, which I can use to manipulate another object from a distance with real-time sensations, just as though the remote object were in my own hand. Thanks to sensors and cameras connected in 5G, we were able to drive a vehicle located in another country from our position in France. Applications for controlling remote objects abound: drones, robots, work in dangerous or confined environments, home care services, and more. Among other things, this requires the availability of high-performance connected objects and the ability to ensure high-speed, low-latency data transmission from end to end. Integrating the tactile Internet with a company could significantly improve workstations and enhance employee safety.

It’s a new world of opportunities for businesses. Watch our video to see Stéphane Klajzyngier, CEO of Lacroix Electronics, Sébastien Kaiser, Connectivity and Network Director of SNCF, and Olivier Wioland, Mobile Network Marketing Director at Orange Business Services discuss these new 5G opportunities.

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