How can 5G edge
unlock new
services and

Author: Shane Schick

5G edge deployments are a good example of where two transformative technologies can work even better together to help organizations achieve critical business outcomes.

The arrival of 5G, for example, has opened up unprecedented opportunities for companies to make use of the outstanding performance it can provide. 5G is expected to be particularly important to the development of autonomous vehicles, augmented reality (AR) applications, and healthcare innovations like remote surgeries.

How 5G and the edge intersect

Many of these customer and employee experiences will also depend upon the use of connected devices, which continue to proliferate across the enterprise and beyond. According to the most recent report from IoT Analytics, the number of connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices grew to 12.3 billion endpoints last year and is set to grow to more than 27 billion connections by 2025. 5G is expected to be able to eventually support up to 1 million devices per square kilometer, potentially supporting what is known as Massive IoT, but that also means a considerable growth in data.

This is where 5G edge computing is expected to have great impact. By processing data closer to where it is produced and consumed, edge computing can reduce backhaul latency by managing data through distributed processing systems. The result is increased performance through improved processing. For example, 5G edge computing deployments can help make it easier for organizations to manage their infrastructure, leverage technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), and optimize how applications are served by the network.

Some of the benefits of private 5G, according to the IEEE, include the ability for organizations to separate data processing and storage for greater efficiencies, have more control over security policies and customize the way their networks evolve.

Industries where 5G edge computing can have a big impact

There's no shortage of sectors where 5G services and edge computing could offer value. Network World reports that IDC has come up with more than 120 use cases for edge-related projects. These include the retail sector, where edge nodes can aggregate in-store data from touchpoints ranging from cloud-based point of sale (POS) terminals and digital signs to video cameras. 5G can also support sophisticated applications like AR shopping.

In manufacturing, meanwhile, Enterprise IoT Insights' list of 5G opportunities include monitoring production assets remotely via connected sensors, using sensors to get ahead of maintenance issues and offering AR applications to simplify repairs. Using 5G in smart factories in concert with edge computing should help reduce the latency in sending data back and forth to the cloud.

The automotive industry is another example. The University of Michigan's Mcity is conducting 5G edge trials, for instance, to see how 5G edge technologies and Vehicle to Everything (V2X) software could enable faster communication of information between connected vehicles and other vehicles, infrastructure and pedestrians. As a story on ITS International details, the partnership with Verizon and Honda could help reduce the chance of collisions.

Businesses will no doubt find many different ways to take advantage of edge computing, but count on its pairing with 5G to be one of the biggest trends to watch. Learn how you can get ready to start, adapt, elevate or innovate your use of 5G edge computing today.

The author of this content is a paid contributor for Verizon.