A common perception is that the most crucial benefit of 5G technology is superbly faster data speed. But 5G ismuch more than that – in fact, it can be used to address a more critical challenge – the reduction of network latency. Latency specifies the end to end communication delay, measuring the time between the sending of a given piece information and the corresponding response. Moreover, the available data isn’t being put to proper use as well. This data can be used to boost sales, minimize expenses, and improve performance. Even if the data is stored in the cloud, that same information held in a faraway data center might not allow you to make real-time decisions to help in day-to-day processes.
Why is reducing latency important?
Latency is a major issue and can’t be ignored. Organizations could be completely unaware of the amount of traffic that is running on their networks. So consider the data being transmitted from IoT (Internet of Things) devices, along with the analytics, performance, and artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) plications involved to bring value. When bandwidth requirements exceed capacity, it leads to transmission delays. If your business is leveraging Wi-Fi, multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), or public internet as your wide area network (WAN) architecture, you are not moving fast enough. Lacking visibility into your business can cause enormous losses, if you are unable to make timely decisions.
Focusing on edge computing
When data processing and storage occur at or near edge device, IoT devices, and mobile endpoints, latency can be prevented. Edge or multi-access edge computing (MEC) successfully moves computing services from the data center or cloud closer to where the work is being done, which allows for local processing. Thus, you can provide field employees with actionable insights. For situations that require immediate response to their input, edg computing can resolve a lot of issues. Using data from edge computing lets you:
- Improve performance and drive better value by mining newly collected data points.
- Evaluate, learn, and predict from real-time data.
- Improve overall visibility and efficiency of your entire operation.
- Increase monitoring capabilities by adding intelligence at edge locations to help identify possible failures.
- Save both time and money by collecting and reducing data at its source. Record and send only the important data.
How can 5G help?
A slow, wireless connection diminishes the processing speed from edge computing. When organizations have to make fast decisions based on real-time data, or require a large amount of data on-site, gaining access to reliable connectivity is a must. 5G can help accomplish this purpose. It also adds an extra layer of security for locally processed data because IoT devices are SIM-based rather than password protected.
How can real-time data help in logistics?
Smarter decision making across supply chains
Due to increased worker demands, more data points, and an expanded scope of supply chain requirements, the transportation and logistics ecosystem is undergoing a massive shift. Workers require access to real-time information, and the ability to employ sophisticated supply chain technology to uncover insights from the data they generate daily.
When 5G is integrated into the supply chain, it evolves dynamically, so organizations can use more data to help operators make well-informed and real-time decisions that speed up time to value. When data is synthesized and contextualized, it provides visibility, risk prediction analytics, forecasting, and accessible reports. Thus, operators and managers can utilize this data to make smarter decisions regarding routes, maintenance schedules, and delivery times.
Improved customer service
Artificial intelligence and 5G can be used to collate and analyze data from production, logistics and sales channels. It will enable increased levels of automation to be introduced in all stages throughout a cloud-based network. Predictive planning could reduce lead times by allowing finished goods to move to the next stage in the supply chain even before an order has been placed.
So if you look at the bigger picture, a transformed supply chain could use 5G to ensure better security, quality control, customer follow-up and after-sales service. This technology could even take it a step further by facilitating environmentally friendly disposal of goods at the end of the product’s journey.
Managing a fleet
Traditional fleet management and telematics tools can be used to plot and track driving times and routes. All you have to do is install a device in each vehicle, and it starts transmitting data. It improves communication with the driver as well. But with the integration of 5G, more functionality can be enabled such as live driver coaching and dynamic rerouting of vehicles based on real-time shipment data and weather conditions.
5G connectivity lets companies take advantage of diagnostic data in real-time. Digital dashboards and metrics provide insights into route efficiency, driver behavior and fuel efficiency. By using smart sensors and onboard computers that monitor and transmit data such as position, speed, fuel consumption, truck wear and component failure, operational efficiency can be immensely improved. Data can be captured, analyzed and viewed no matter where the assets or the central hub is located.
To sum up, a 5G, ultra-wideband, edge computing solution greatly improves supply chain efficiencies by providing end-to-end, near real-time logistic controls. Data can be extracted for predicting maintenance and infrastructure breakdowns to prevent unscheduled downtime. This information can be used to monitor inventory, manage supply chain operations, and set up production and delivery schedules.