Private Networks and Industry 4.0

Technology has advanced to the point where traditional WiFi no longer meets the needs of consumers. Data users require top-tier security, capacity, coverage, low latency, and high-quality service. Businesses must evolve alongside the ever-changing demands of the consumers, which is why we need a new, reliable, and secure access network.

This access network has to go beyond simple connectivity; it must enable integrated product solutions that allow businesses to tailor their system to their consumers’ needs. 

As we move into Industry 4.0, Mobile Private Networks (MPN) are crucial for streamlined digital transformation. Utilizing MPN offers efficient analysis, decision-making, and elapsed time from device to data.

Industry 4.0

The term “Industry 4.0” is derived from Germany’s government initiative to advance connected manufacturing and a digital convergence between industry, businesses, and other processes. In short, it’s the revolution of manufacturing as technology helps various industries migrate to autonomous systems through high-bandwidth, real-time tools. 

The concept relies on a fully integrated supply-line ecosystem comprised of partners and machines. Industry 4.0 consists of two components: 

  1. Process – tools, devices, machines, etc.
  2. Factory Automation – coordinating the flow of production

As the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 hopes to be the dawn of the “smart factory,” which ideally would produce a more efficient form of digital manufacturing.

Mobile Private Networks (MPN)

As one of the core elements of Industry 4.0, a Mobile Private Network (MPN) offers a dedicated business network on-site. This local network is an alternative to a public mobile network and enables the use of several new applications that will transform the way companies operate. 

The benefits of an MPN include:

  • Real-time responsiveness
  • Guaranteed bandwidth
  • High-quality service
  • Local protected data flow

MPN harnesses mobile 4G and 5G Radio Access Networks (RAN) to provide coverage to a given area. These RANs offer the factory or campus secure access to dedicated enterprise networks and services through fixed and mobile operators.

Companies can choose whether to enable localized deployments or nationwide MPN. 

Localized deployments offer high-resilience availability for a specific area. Nationwide MPN provides a broad range of coverage with low latency by operating without dedicated hardware.

With a powerful, reliable network, businesses have easier access to the tools they need when they need them. Instead of wasting time waiting for a download, their applications can respond in seconds. With more capabilities, your company will have more time to experiment and discover the best applications of your products.

MPN and Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC)

Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) is a network architecture concept that offers minimal latency without sacrificing device costs, battery life, or form factor. Since MEC runs workloads from the edge of the network, it brings power nearer to the devices. When combined with MPN, MEC offers a nearly unstoppable way to make real-time decisions locally.

Employing MPN and MEC in tandem opens the door to endless possibilities, such as enabling an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-driven smart factory. Other scenarios that MEC and MPN make possible include security threat identification through video analytics, superior workforce and consumer experiences, and utilizing augmented reality tools for maintenance and repair.

IIOT Capabilities and Use Cases

MPN-powered IIoT applications can be applied across various industries for tasks such as monitoring and control, connecting workers, monitoring sensor data, tracking and location services, robotics, and autonomous guided vehicles.

For example, one of the most prominent opportunities for IIoT adoption is agribusiness. Farmers are able to use IIoT applications to revolutionize their agriculture business for more efficient farming.

IIoT analytics offer a birds-eye view into every aspect of a farmer’s operation. Users can quickly harness smart data to assess soil erosion, water stress, variable rate of fertility, and crop yield analysis. They can also use IIoT to diagnose crop diseases, monitor their fields, and enable auto spreading. 

As climate plays a crucial role in farming, agribusiness professionals can employ an IoT solution to check real-time weather conditions with sensors inside and outside of their fields that collect data from the environment. These analytics help farmers understand which crops to plant in a specific area and the best methods for sustaining those crops. 

Additionally, farmers can rely on IIoT applications for precision agriculture by utilizing smart faming applications for livestock monitoring, vehicle tracking, real-time field observation, irrigation management, and inventory monitoring.

Some farmers may choose to invest in agricultural drones with thermal or multispectral sensors to assess crop health, monitoring, planting, spraying, and overall field analysis. These drones not only work toward more efficient farming, they also reduce the overall environmental impact.

But, of course, none of this is possible without a reliable able stable FWA, LTE, or 5G network. 

private network agribusiness IoT

Industry Outlook

The global IIoT market was valued at $77.3 billion in 2020 and is predicted to hit $107.2 billion (a 7.3% CAGR) by 2027. The boom of IIoT application adoption was significantly expedited by the push for improved remote work experiences due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the development of advanced technology and state-of-the-art innovations continue to propel the industry forward.

On top of that, the rapid modernization of LTE and 5G environments through MPN enables widespread adoption of various tools disrupting the status quo. And as more consumers require low jitter and low latency communications to operate, the demand for IIoT solutions will continue to rise.

All of this to say that MPNs and IIoT applications are not a passing fad; they are the tools of the future.

The sooner companies can jump on board with these technological developments, the sooner they’ll experience a boom in efficiency, quality, and revenue. 

Getting Connected with PCS Technologies

PCS Tech is a St. Paul, MN-based telecom engineering company that has been serving clients since 1994. We’ve helped numerous clients across the United States to set up wireless networking and communications.

Our team specializes in designing, integrating, and building wireless networks using advanced RF planning tools, microwave, and the latest broadband technologies.

Most importantly, we want to help you bring your company into the future of industry. Connect with us today to talk about your current pain points and how we can achieve a solution together.

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