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By Anis Sinno, head of marketing for Nokia, Middle East

The Middle East region has been among the first ones globally in 5G adoption with Nokia leading the trends and momentum. It is not new that 5G will transform business models and open new revenue streams for enterprises, revolutionizing the way individual consumers and industries live and operate especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will create opportunities for CSPs to enter new markets and deliver extraordinary experiences.

A recent research from Nokia finds that 5G mature companies are growing faster and are the only group to have experienced a net increase in productivity (+10%) following COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges imposed by the pandemic, a global boom in 5G investment will see 71% of companies invest in 5G over the next five years. 

While the readiness for 5G may depend on the market, network, priorities or potential partners, both CSPs and enterprises need smart planning to capitalize on the many new opportunities that 5G brings with exciting use cases.

Last month, Nokia published an ebook that helps CSPs and enterprises plan a successful journey to 5G and explores in detail eight key use cases illustrated with case studies from real-life deployments. For consumers, 5G supports immersive experiences, higher mobile data rates and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity with various use cases. For enterprises, 5G enhances 4G LTE capabilities to provide reliable wireless that enables new IoT applications, drives industries towards the fourth industrial revolution and creates new opportunities to improve business efficiency. Let’s understand why 5G is important for these key use cases.

Video surveillance and analytics: Wireless video surveillance demands high uplink capacity. LTE can provide enough performance to meet these demands in the short term. However, enterprises need the enhanced uplink capacity and throughput provided by 5G to deploy high-resolution cameras or increase the density of cameras within a given area. Enterprises also need 5G if they want to combine 4K cameras with video analytics to support new use cases such as precise object recognition or detecting product defects on assembly lines. The low latency of 5G is required for use cases where video is used and analyzed to provide automatic assistance to flying objects such as drones. Data analytics improve situational awareness and help incident commanders prioritize resources for people in distress.

5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA): It allows operators to provide broadband services to households and small/home offices in places where there is no fixed telecom infrastructure, where it would be too costly to deploy this infrastructure, or where the existing infrastructure can’t provide sufficient service with a short time to market. With FWA, outdoor receivers or indoor gateways connect to the best wireless signals available to bring reliable broadband connectivity into the home. FWA delivers fiber-like speeds that business applications and immersive gaming, telepresence and AR/VR/MR applications demand.

Immersive experiences: 5G provides the throughput and capacity required for high-resolution and high-frame-rate video transmissions for consumers. Edge cloud deployments will deliver the lower latency required to compensate for content and endpoint processing times. And 5G network slicing will allow operators to use a defined quality of experience (QoE) to ensure consistency. 5G is also an enabler of VR 360 streaming and Holograms. For example, Nokia and Zain Saudi Arabia provided a 5G-enabled VR use case in Mashaer area and the Holy Mosque area in Makkah for Hajj pilgrims. This technology allowed visitors to have immersive experience remotely as if they are onsite.

Also, with stc, Nokia deployed a 5G-based volumetric 3G hologram communications to provide an educational and awareness service to the pilgrims about Hajj rituals.

Enterprises can use immersive experiences to ensure safety and increase efficiency and 5G will ensure consistent and timely data transmission for AR applications that require low latency and high reliability.

Smart stadiums: Today’s networks may be able to handle traffic growth based on existing social media and web applications. But they have minimal resources left to implement more immersive experiences, such as AR applications for navigating around venues, real-time overlays for play-by-play action on the sports field, or meet-and-greets between fans and artists in VR. As an example edge cloud with Edge Video Orchestration technology cut latency dramatically by allowing video to be stored locally and routed directly to fans instead of traveling across the backhaul network. Combined with a high-capacity 4G or 5G network, it ensures that fans will enjoy a great video experience.

 

E-health services: 5G networks will be an important enabler for key eHealth and telemedicine applications. For example, the high guaranteed uplink speeds of 5G networks will enable moving ambulances to transmit life-critical data to hospitals, including high-definition video and the outputs of sophisticated medical tools.

Nokia has provided a 5G network that will enable the Oulu University Hospital to test more than 90 percent of its procedures and determine how digitalization and reliable connectivity could enhance them. The 5G capabilities will be essential in cases where haptic feedback needs to be transmitted to the surgeon over the 5G network. Low latency and high reliability will also allow hospitals to take advantage of cloud robotics use cases.

Machine remote control: A private LTE network can support nearly all machine remote control applications in a campus environment. But the need to transmit more data back to the command center is driving demand for the higher uplink capacity provided by 5G. For example, a private LTE network can support Full HD video streams, but it will take a 5G network to support 4K video and sensors. Over time, the increasing density of remote-controlled machines and demand for data-intensive control methods such as haptic feedback will compel more industries to choose 5G.

Cloud robotics and automation: Wireless connectivity removes the constraints of today’s static factory production lines. It allows machines to become mobile, which reduces the time required to reconfigure the production environment and address changing demands. Private LTE networks support many cloud robotics and process automation applications today. 5G networks will improve robot performance and create opportunities for deeper automation by supporting higher capacity and lower latency. 5G network slicing will enable companies to support robotics use cases in public environments by guaranteeing private-like network performance.

Connected vehicles: Current LTE-based cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology supports a variety of types of communication between traffic participants, including vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, vehicle-to-network and vehicle-to-vulnerable road users. Evolution to 5G-based C-V2X will dramatically enhance all of these types of vehicular communication. The introduction of 5G NR, URLLC, edge cloud and network slicing will enable applications that pave the way to assisted driving and fully autonomous vehicles. The main benefits will be, increased driving comfort, safety and more cost-effective road transportation.

Some of the above use cases may depend on technology enablers that are tightly connected to the 5G specification schedule. All these use cases are feasible with 4G and can further be developed in 5G. We support each of these use cases with Nokia 5G Future X, an end-to-end portfolio of solutions, software and professional services that help mobile operators and enterprises start realizing the promise of 5G today.

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