While operators are currently focused on early 5G use cases, enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access, around the corner, as the technology develops, the next generation of cellular will support massive internet of things and mission critical IoT connectivity. In the last use case, which will largely support applications in need of a ultra reliable low latency connection, milliseconds matter.
In a recent episode of Dez Blanchfield’s podcast Transmissions from Tomorrow, Ericsson’s Fredrik Engströmer, head of 5G marketing, core, gave the example of remotely moving a 30-ton vehicle. With too much latency, “That thing might crash in a wall.” Moving to the healthcare industry, he called out remote surgery. “You can just image what would happen in an operations room if there would be [high]latency. When you’re doing remote operation…or assisting a medical team on distance maybe, then the milliseconds are very, very important. You need to be able to feel instantly what’s going on on the other side to improve the situation or avoid some terrible situation that could happen otherwise.”
Based on the the minimum technical performance requirements expected for the International Telecommunication Union’s IMT-2020 global 5G standard, URLLC will require latency of 1 millisecond user plane latency and control plane latency of 20 milliseconds, although the group notes, Proponents are encouraged to consider lower control plane latency, e.g. 10 [milliseconds]. For comparison purposes, the eMBB 5G use case should have 4 millisecond user plane latency.
Ericsson 5G Marketing Director Monika Byléhn told Blanchfield the eMBB use case is “low-hanging fruit” from an operator perspective, and also noted that fixed wireless access is also an “early use case” that provides consumers and small businesses with a significant improvement in throughput while sparing operators the costly and time-consuming process of laying fiber.
For the massive IoT and mission critical IoT use cases, operators really have to consider the business cases associated with these new categories of services. “They have a road to travel,” she said, as service providers shift from selling SIM cards to addressing new industrial sectors.
Engströmer said, “We can step into new cases of digitalization in healthcare, in construction, in manufacturing and so on, that we could not do before. Operators, service providers, have a chance here to play a central role in providing this technology to industries.” – Rcr Wireless