InTune: Connectivity Everywhere
Of course, in the long term the move to 5G is inevitable and certainly worth the investment. However, in the medium term, following a turbulent year with significant disruption to the industry, is investing in fast 5G rollouts going to generate a return? In short, yes, but the focus must be on the everywhere aspect, as this ensures that we are unlocking the full potential of 5G and not limiting the return on investment by limiting the remit of coverage.
More than ever before we are seeing businesses in every sector fully embrace the gains that technology offers. The last decade has seen a huge period of digital transformation across virtually every industry and the businesses that have seen success as a result are hungry to pursue this avenue further. This encompasses everything from manufacturing businesses taking advantage of Industry 4.0 innovations to improve efficiencies, to retail companies using mobile connectivity to enhance customer experiences. Both examples would see 5G enable them to build on their current gains. To allow 5G to thrive, it is key that it is rolled out in a way that ensures customers across a range of verticals with a clear appetite for enhanced connectivity, can take advantage either with operators powering the network, or their own private 5G network.
In addition to businesses, there is also a 5G opportunity for municipalities across the world to improve their cities with a connected city deployment. This would enable smarter traffic management, utility planning, boosted security, to improve the quality of city life both for citizens and the environment. However, the foundation of a connected city, is ensuring the network architecture to deliver the connectivity that underpins the use cases. Without this, the use cases will simply not be able to deliver to their fullest potential. It is again another instance of needing to get the ‘everywhere’ aspect right to ensure maximum return on 5G investment.
At RFS we have specifically designed solutions to support connected city deployments and are working with partners to unlock the full potential and benefits.
Everywhere means everywhere
When we put the emphasis on the need for everywhere connectivity, it does not simply cover the urban and indoor deployments we have mentioned so far. There are a growing number of industries that need connectivity delivered in particularly difficult environments. This includes deployments for remote locations, for example offshore oil rigs and windfarms in rural areas which again benefit from adding connectivity and help to streamline processes. It also encompasses mining deployments where underground connectivity, although difficult to install, is absolutely critical for first and foremost safety purposes, but increasingly to tap into the benefits that we have seen improve businesses that have embraced industry 4.0. The demand for connectivity from these niche verticals offers a real opportunity to invest in infrastructure as the business applications are already poised to generate a return.
This is just a taste of what is possible by pushing connectivity far and wide. It enables a greater range of use cases that stand to see significant benefits as a result of improved connectivity. The business drivers for the vertical customers mean it is an essential revenue stream for operators looking to see rapid ROI and certainly something that needs to be explored today, not tomorrow.