COVID-19 Has Disrupted 5G Development but Not Stopped It

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By Kangrui Ling | 2Q 2020 | IN-5845


3GPP Release 16 Delayed but Still on Course


While COVID-19 has disrupted the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)’s Release 16 and 17 timelines, it has not stopped the industry’s overall march toward developing 4G and 5G for industrial applications. The crux of Industry 4.0 is a wireless and highly automated factory, envisioned to be able to reconfigure itself according to manufacturing demands while being able to carry on operations 24/7 with little to no manual contact.

While 5G is still in early development phases, and 4G is being developed to support industrial use cases, we have seen many promising industrial developments that are continually being developed, studied, and trialed. These include Nokia’s own 4G-powered Oulu base station factory, which has thus seen a 30% increase in productivity; ABB’s Milan factory using collaborative robot (cobot) YuMi, which uses 5G for data transfer and machine vision; Ocado’s private 4G network for over 3,000 cobots; and the partnership of Amazon Web Services (AWS) wavelength with Verizon, Vodafone, SK Telecom, and KDDI to develop 5G edge …

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