5G Standalone (SA) finds popularity in private networks by enabling new use cases and business models

The benefits of 5G in terms of high capacity, low latency mobile broadband connectivity are well understood and as the roll-out of the technology to mainstream users continues, businesses are also realizing the opportunities with private networks that utilize 5G standalone technology.

Sponsored by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

The benefits of 5G in terms of high capacity, low latency mobile broadband connectivity are well understood and as the roll-out of the technology to mainstream users continues, businesses are also realizing the opportunities with private networks that utilize 5G standalone technology. 5G SA unlocks the full potential of 5G for IoT by supporting the broadest range of devices and use cases, including enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), low-complexity IoT, extended reality (XR) and mission critical applications. The benefits of 5G SA contrasts to non-standalone (NSA) because many of the advanced capabilities in 5G can only be realized when the entire network is 5G end-to-end – from the core to the RAN to the end-user’s device, which is the SA architecture.

5G SA is an important enabler for a new generation of private networks that use the technology’s unique set of capabilities to power new use cases and enable mission critical applications. 5G attributes of high bandwidth, low latency, and its capability to support massive numbers of connections on a single cell make it ideal for use cases such as smart manufacturing, which involves hundreds of connected devices from sensors and machines to automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and robots.

Smart manufacturing is set to be one of the largest adopters of private networks and recent research from IHS Markit3, commissioned by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., has uncovered that 5G will expand the mobile ecosystem to new industries, generating over US$13 trillion in global economic value by 2035. In smart manufacturing alone, the research predicts that 5G will enable global economic value of over US4 by 2035. Other sectors set to generate economic value of more than US$1 trillion (tn) in the period include rich mobile experiences (US$2tn), connected smart cities (US$2tn), intelligent retail (US$1tn) and connected healthcare (US$1).

“Private networks and 5G SA are the tools that are creating the difference for the digital economy,” confirms Sebastiano Di Filippo, Senior Director of Business Development at Qualcomm Europe, Inc. “5G SA enables the network to be implemented rapidly and allows for enhanced functions such as network slicing which brings in a new level of performance for enterprises. 5G SA is the way for the 5G ecosystem and companies such as Qualcomm Technologies to fully utilize the potential of 5G to support IoT.

Sebastiano Di Filippo points to the enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), low latency and the connectivity density of 5G but also emphasises the lower complexity and ability to support mission critical applications and high level XR that 5G offers. “Capabilities include computer vision, sensors, head-mounted displays, handheld terminals, AGVs and industrial robots all connected and supported by wireless edge analytics,” he adds. “The combination of private networks and 5G is a winning combination because it increases the availability of wireless technology for all these use cases, and it is scalable to meet the needs of massive IoT.”

“The most disruptive aspect is the ultra-low latency communications (URLLC) capability which is a mandatory element of the 5G offering for the next generation of industrial automation,” Sebastiano Di Filippo explains. “5G SA provides a dedicated secure, time sensitive and optimized network for IoT that assures future interoperability with a vast ecosystem and rich 5G roadmap.”

That ecosystem includes the Qualcomm® 315 5G IoT modem which has been designed for low power, thermally efficient, small form factor industrial IoT (IIoT) products such as devices used in factory automation, digital signage, asset management, precision agriculture, retail and robotics. “The level of confidence in 5G SA is much higher and the growing availability of products like the Qualcomm 315 5G IoT modem and other 5G chipsets in our portfolio along with products and interfaces are meeting and validating the stringent requirements of IIoT,” he adds. “We’re seeing very conservative industries that have been using cables for connectivity for 30 years turning to 5G because of the advantages it offers. This is expanding 5G adoption and enabling an innovative new set of use cases across multiple dimensions of IoT.”

Qualcomm 315 is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

3 The 5G Economy in a Post-COVID-19 Era, 2020 – an independent study from IHS Markit, commissioned by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

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