Now is the perfect time to be considering a Proof of Concept trial to take your organisation down the pathway to 5G. Here is how to implement a 5G POC in six simple steps.
Step 1. It all starts with why?
- What is your big idea?
- Are you looking to build new capability into an existing process, or are you planning to disrupt with a whole new way of operating?
- How can 5G innovate and advance your business outcomes?
The Federal Government has earmarked $20million in 5G Innovation Grants for 2021 and 2022. At MobileCorp we assist organisations to develop 5G network solutions, so during the first Grant round we had a number of companies reach out to us.
Surprisingly, many of them did not have a clear idea of why they were wanting to develop a 5G POC - other than securing Government funding of course 😂.
Great examples of a 5G POC would be:
5G sensor nets deployed for on-farm monitoring, providing real-time information about soil moisture, water levels or silo levels. This data can support farmers make data-driven decisions in farm management. 5G can also support automated farm equipment that could spray chemicals or pick fruit more accurately and efficiently.
Live device monitoring over 5G to predict equipment wear and schedule predictive maintenance in manufacturing and industrial locations and provide real-time feedback on the performance and operation of machinery.
5G networks could connect diagnostic imagery to specialists in real-time. Through wearables, doctors could have real-time information about patients' conditions. Another key benefit of 5G is the sharing of large images and files. 5G could pave the way for wireless X-ray and MRI operations.
Transport and Logistics Projects
5G-connected smart tags could provide real-time tracking for goods, as well as providing insights on food freshness.
Enhanced digital labelling could improve place of origin information.
5G solutions for the maritime industry will enable higher speed and lower cost compared to satellite connectivity, making it ideal for near-shore activity and in turn, enabling the next wave of maritime communications.
Applications could include IoT enabled cargo that allows remote cargo monitoring and remotely controlled autonomous vessels.
5G could enable organisations to optimise their routes through improved visibility, and avoid unnecessary trips and inefficiencies. In high population, high traffic density areas the improved geolocation tracking of 5G could ensure activities are not compromised by network congestion .
5G could provide workers with building visualisation on site through augmented reality glasses. 5G's enhanced mobile broadband can enable 8k video streaming which can be paired with edge computing, i.e. surveillance cameras, to scan video footage and could keep track of onsite personnel.
Retail is in a re-invention phase following 2020. Temporary pop-ups, self-serve kiosks, relocations and new in-store experiences such as augmented reality will all be crucial to a retail recovery. Retailers could use the greater speed and capacity of 5G to expand their offerings and increase efficiency with, for example, interactive digital displays, virtual reality and immersive augmented reality experiences.
IOT sensors running on 5G and enabling a real time response to blockages and overflows, to monitor pressure, or to gather digital metering data removing the need for a human inspector.
In the mining industry, 5G-ready network solutions can automate ventilation systems, provide real-time personnel and vehicle tracking, and remote control of mining machinery and equipment.
Step 2. Determine 5G signal strength
5G is small cell technology and signal strength will weaken after 500 metres. 5G signals also have difficulty penetrating walls. Having a stable and strong 5G signal will be critical for your POC.
If your POC is going to take place in a metropolitan CBD, or a major regional town, this is not likely to an issue as Telstra and Optus have accelerated their 5G rollouts during the pandemic. Telstra expects to have 5G accessible to 75 percent of the population by June 2021.
However, if you are in agribusiness, or mining, or located in an area of lower population density, this may be the first hurdle.
MobileCorp can assist with 5G network information and signal testing. Contact us here.
Step 3. Plan your POC
If you have a defined concept to trial and access to stable 5G signal, now is the time to plan out your Proof of Concept trial.
Some points to consider:
Define where and when will your POC be conducted. Consider whether the POC will be conducted in one location only, or if it will be conducted in several locations for comparative results. Be specific with a timeframe so that the POC does not drag on indefinitely.
Define the outcomes that the POC will test. Be clear about what you are testing for, how you will measure the results, and what constitutes success.
Be clear about what hardware you need. Understand what your choices are around the hardware required to execute the POC. (See Step 4).
Speak to the right people. Source 5G specialists - like MobileCorp - who can support your POC and help ensure a successful outcome.
Diagram the POC solution. This will ensure the solution is clear to all stakeholders.
Create roles and responsibilities. Ensure each team member understands what is expected of him/her so that adequate time and resources can be assigned to the POC.
Step 4. Source 5G Hardware and Connectivity
What hardware will you need? Typically this will include a 5G modem, an external and/or internal antenna, and connectivity to your PoC equipment - Ethernet, Wi-Fi, etc. - as well as a 5G-enabled SIM card and service.
MobileCorp recommends Cradlepoint routers for enterprise quality, intelligent prioritisation routing, and cloud-based monitoring and management. The Cradlepoint E3000 series router was the first 5G-enabled modem available in Australia. The W2000 series Adaptors can be utilised with the E3000 series - or with other router brands which may be in place - to deliver industry-leading 5G wireless WAN connectivity.
Learn more about Cradlepoint here.
Step 5. Execute the POC
Now is the moment of truth...but what does that look like? In our experience, many organisations do not fully prepare for the POC execution.
A POC should have clearly defined parameters - timeframe, activities, roles and responsibilities. It should also have clearly defined and measurable outcomes.
Often a POC will throw up unforeseen issues or barriers. Having allocated the resources to deal with these is paramount, otherwise the entire POC can be jeopardised.
As a Proof of Concept is executed, you will need to measure and document the outcomes. You might also like to do a comparative test of 4G LTE to measure a quantitative improvement.
Some POCs seem to go on for long periods. This is usually a sign that insufficient resources have been allocated to executing the POC, or a POC has been started without defining a timeframe, measurable outcomes or what success looks like.
Step 6. Define Parameters for Success
How will you know if your POC has been successful?
Will the answer simply be "it works", or are you looking for more qualitative and quantitative measures?
Is there a positive Return on Investment and what does that look like?
Are you future-proofing the business or looking to start a digital disruption?
If you have defined the outcomes you are hoping for from the POC, you will be in a better position to declare a POC successful or not.
You might like to define parameters for success from the perspective of
- Technical Success
- Business Process Improvement
- Customer/Employee UX
- Return on Investment/Financial Success
MobileCorp is a 5G Solution Consultancy
MobileCorp is a 5G for Business specialist consultancy.
We have a 32-year history in enterprise mobility management and are leaders in 5G and enterprise wireless networking .
As the world shifts at speed towards a distributed workforce, wireless networks, and cloud services, it will be a competitive advantage for your business to understand how to harness 5G to enable existing and emerging technologies.
If you are contemplating a 5G POC and would like to partner with a 5G solution specialist, contact us.
MobileCorp is a Sydney-based communications technology company. We support enterprise and business by providing managed endpoints and ICT services including mobile device security, mobile device management, expense management and managed connectivity solutions. We are a Telstra Platinum Mobility Partner and Telstra 5G specialist, as well as a Cradlepoint 5G Elite Partner.