By Cristine Kimbrel
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been a little disappointing in industry and manufacturing.
Was it not supposed to make everything work better and more efficiently? Weren’t seamless operations meant to be an inevitability, not just a possibility? Wasn’t there talk about back-office processes intermingling with business-critical services and applications while remaining fast and secure?
Several reasons have caused these things to happen slowly. For one, IoT with real-time data does not play well in tight or restrictive bandwidth conditions. Another obstacle was the separation of Operations Technology (OT) networks from IT networks, caused by proprietary OT technologies incompatible with IoT, which requires a network where all data-related devices touch and work with all other data-related devices.
However, ongoing advances in technology have brought fresh opportunities. New hope!
Private wireless communication and networking in the form of private LTE offer a path forward and a way to realize most of the potential that has made IoT so exciting in the first place. Private LTE (OnGo) enables private IoT. This is true when enterprise networks interact and applications can exchange data. All things IoT are possible.
Private wireless is a perfect partner to existing networks found throughout virtually any facility and a perfect partner to Wi-Fi. There is no need to tear anything out or start over; it is a complementary and additive technology. Private wireless (LTE or 5G) running alongside existing Wi-Fi is an enabler and productivity multiplier, and it has many great benefits.
Designed from the ground up to vastly improve network security, Private wireless provides resilient encryption and localized authentication. It expands coverage far beyond the limited reach of existing Wi-Fi infrastructure, with fewer access points, both indoors and outdoors. Carrier-grade quality of service (QoS) and reliability allow predictable data rates and ultra-stable performance, while freeing Wi-Fi to handle other back-office and BYOD tasks.
Private wireless (5G) can accept 1000x more connections than existing Wi-Fi networks, across a single network that supports IoT technology, such as AI operation and monitoring, facility control, physical security, PTT (push-to-talk), PTV (push-to-video), video streaming, and almost unlimited broadband access.
All these things are possible through technology partnerships that bring together essential elements to create customizable solutions. In effect, these IoT solutions comprise multiple systems running alongside one another, with each focusing on its own integral components and services, but still able to touch every other system.
In industry, for example, communications and front office data processing could be assigned to operate on an existing Wi-Fi network, while robotics, packaging, and autonomous mobile delivery systems are assigned to a private LTE system. The use of this model to restrict the use and bandwidth of each system translates into less system strain in each component and a more effective allocation of resources without worrying about congestion, overload lagging, and/or crashes. In the event of a failure, compartmentalization enables faster and more effective troubleshooting.
Private wireless finally delivers the promise of IoT in industry and manufacturing, and can be easily deployed without interrupting existing workflows or disrupting installed infrastructure. Though IoT got off to a rough start, Private wireless has opened a path to the benefits of true IoT and seamless networking—and now is the time to start it.
By working with an experienced team, you can plan and implement a Private wireless deployment that fully complements and improves your existing infrastructure.
Kimbrel is an innovative leader with over 15 years of diverse experience in driving product portfolio performance. She is responsible for strategic initiatives in sales, operations, marketing, and business development and at Black Box leads the creation of viable products and service offers that ensures competitive advantages in the marketplace.
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