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5G and the economy

How 5G is helping German companies move forward

Ever faster, ever more global: for German companies, digitalisation and globalisation represent enormous challenges. A well-developed 5G network is becoming a competitive advantage. Please read on for an account of how innovations in mobile telecommunications are benefiting German companies and their employees.

If the world were a supermarket, it would need to be in a continuous state of expansion. A new department here, new shelves there: this is more or less how the global market is starting to behave, albeit of course on a much larger scale. The global economy is dynamic. New products are constantly emerging and interrelationships are becoming more complex. At the same time, technology and innovation cycles are becoming shorter in many areas. At any given moment, somewhere in the world, a new trend is being set. New suppliers are always appearing on the global market. Such is the environment in which German companies exist and operate. It is vital for them to keep pace and build on their lead where they are in such a position. 

Here, 5G technology has a vital role to play. Fast data exchanges and seamless communication are indispensable for remaining competitive. They are as essential to the development of innovative products and services as they are to the functioning of efficient logistics and production systems. 

Companies can find new markets 

With the new 5G mobile telecommunications standard, intelligent real time networking of products, processes and industrial value creation chains becomes possible. In some factories, for instance, machines already exchange information with each other. Fully networked construction sites, where cranes and excavators communicate with each other and document individual work steps, are another exciting example. We have brought together many applications from a variety of sectors in a single detailed article. 

New services building on 5G are also capable of giving rise to whole new markets. Opportunities emerge for marketing higher quality products and services: a machine manufacturer can add fundamentally to the value of its products if the machines, as well as being productive, communicate with each other via 5G. When companies combine their knowledge of mechanics with modern telecommunications, the result is a whole new form of value creation. 

Millions of consumers reap the benefits 

For the industrial sector, thanks to the expansion of 5G networks, a form of digitalisation becomes possible that not only fundamentally changes value creation chains but also creates entirely new business models and prospects for employers, consumers and employees. Digital and intelligent production processes open up tremendous opportunities in niche markets, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

In principle, businesses will be able to deploy 5G technology in an exceptionally wide range of application areas. The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a worldwide partnership of bodies for standardisation in mobile telecommunications, has compiled three key application profiles for 5G networks: 

  • URLLC (ultra-reliable low-latency communication): these are time-critical applications that require a minimal latency time of under a millisecond and depend on fail-safe communication. Areas in which this is important include the automotive sector (autonomous driving), medical engineering (e-health and remote surgery) and machinery and plant engineering (cloud robotics). In 4G networks, latency was at best 15 milliseconds and sometimes as much as 100 milliseconds. 
  • eMBB (enhanced mobile broadband): this covers all applications requiring an exceptionally high data throughput. Data rates of 10 to 20 gigabits per second are possible with eMBB. With a throughput of 10 gigabits per second, a data package of 1,250 megabytes can be transmitted in just one second. This means, for example, that high-resolution videos can be streamed from the web. Live applications from the fields of augmented and virtual reality are another possibility. And the overloading of transmission masts where large audiences are concerned – as in the case of football matches or concerts – becomes a thing of the past.
  • mMTC (massive machine type communication): this is the term for applications that involve networking together a particularly large number of devices or components for machine-to-machine communication. The connection of many appliances to the Internet is also referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). Here, the appliances tend to send their data sporadically. They are manufactured cost-effectively and are energy-efficient to maintain. Smart meters or sensors are permanently linked together in real time and deliver data reliably. This application is used for household appliances and entire homes, which are connected to the Internet, for production robots in factories, and in logistics. 

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