Cisco pushes 5G to hasten industrial IoT

While 5G deployments are nascent, Cisco says it expects rapid future development of the mobile technology will be expand industrial IoT use cases.

The IIoT includes a broad range of products  from connected sensors, robots and machinery to vehicles, building automation, asset tracking and remote agriculture systems. And in the industrial networking realm there are wireless access technologies including low-power wide-area networks (LoRaWAN), Narrow Band-IoT and others.

5G on the other hand – according to a recent Network World article is “an umbrella term to describe a set of standards and technologies for a radically faster wireless internet that ideally is up to 20 times faster with 120 times less latency than 4G, setting the stage for IoT networking advances and support for new high-bandwidth applications.”

In a recent IIoT white paper,Cisco wrote about the plethora of networking options open to the IIoT, noting “prominent examples include standards from the IEEE family  of  networking  protocols, like 802.3 Ethernet, 802.1 time sensitive networking (TSN), and different versions of 802.11 and 802.15.4. “There is Bluetooth low-energy (BLE), and an evolving set of cellular technologies  developed by 3GPP, including 3G, 4G LTE with NB-IoT and Cat-M1 targeting low cost  massive sensor deployments.”

The emerging 5G standards with New Radio (NR) are targeting new capabilities such as vehicle-to-everything and ultra reliable low-atency communication for industrial use cases. And there are industrial communication buses standardized by IEC, such as PROFINET and Modbus, Cisco stated. 

“The industrial IoT market is among the most fractured especially amongst the verticals like healthcare and automotive,” said Lee Doyle, principal analyst with Doyle  Research. “Large companies such a Cisco, HP and IBM have been challenged to address it because it is so fractured. It’s not at all clear any one of them has the overall network architecture to handle it all.”

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