ARTICLE: 5G and the internet of things: “You can’t manage what you don’t know”

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The telecommunications networks of the fifth generation of mobile phone technology (5G) began to appear on the market at the end of 2018 and, now, in 2020, they’re in the process of being implemented, with all the controversies that it entails.

Today in Spain, at the end of 2020, 20% of citizens have internet coverage with a speed lower than 100 megabytes. Vodafone, Telefónica, Orange and Yoigo already offer 5G in the main cities, and they ensure that, before the end of the year, 75% of the Spanish population will be able to access this new technology that leads to the “internet of things”, from simple light bulbs to electrical appliances, entertainment, health or mobility items, are all connected.

5G represents a change because it significantly improves the benefits (bandwidth, latency, capacity of connected devices) of mobile Internet access compared to previous generations. The speed at which this technology allows you to navigate is 400 MB per second. Its special characteristics make it a key element to accelerate the digital transformation of society and the world economy by unleashing the massive “internet of things,” in which networks can satisfy the communication needs of billions of devices connected to the Internet at the same time. All of this is done with a speed that practically makes the latency time between the click and the appearance of the information disappear.

It’s a whole new world, but keep in mind that the effective monetization of 5G is filled with challenges. For business services, content security policies (CSPs) will need to take more action with drastic changes. Modern policy engines and real-time charging systems will be required to ensure effective monetization of network resources in real time, without lag. Additionally, many enterprise business models will require support for multi-step multidimensional value chains and complex B2B2X hierarchies, which require advanced user management systems.

In addition to implementing new systems to support 5G, CSPs also need to evolve their organizational structure and process frameworks to take advantage of new software systems and architecture models. This can be time consuming as it involves updating and training employees.

According to a study by the European Commission, there will be a new category of services and increased business profits will be facilitated. It’s calculated that the estimated economic income when introducing 5G in four productive sectors (automotive, health, transport and utilities) will increase progressively until reaching 62,500 million euros of direct annual impact within the European Union in 2025. If we count the indirect impacts, they would amount to about 113,000 million euros.

With this panorama in which the Internet of Things is going to rule, it’s essential that companies inventory all their connected and non-connected assets. This will improve the efficiency in the management of these assets, obtain information from which they can analyze and make better decisions. In other words, ​use the information.​ Today there are many solutions that solve sectoral problems, but there aren’t many solutions that have a transversal approach.

In the current context, it’s becoming increasingly necessary for companies, as a first step in their strategy and use of IoT elements and 5G capabilities, to know the situation of their assets in order to efficiently plan and maximize their investments in these fields.

For this reason, TEAMnet, together with the participation of the CDTI, have focused the team’s talent on creating a software platform, SIDInet, that would provide a solution to this new challenge.

  • Define and dynamically parameterize any element type and its attributes, without the need to adapt the software due to the cost that this entails.
  • Define the type of relationship between the elements and their compatibilities.
  • Graphically represent these elements to allow a quick overview of the situation.
  • Carry out the task of identifying the connected elements, notably improving the effort required to register this inventory.
  • Collect and store the information of the different connected elements in an unstructured way.
  • Comprehensive analysis of this information, along with Big Data technology, for better decision making.

These capabilities will allow us to know the real and updated situation of our valuable assets. We’ll also be able to optimize a good number of current business processes, such as the deployment of telecommunications networks, IT network management, equipment maintenance, management of IoT assets, etc …

In addition, the availability of this information and the implementation of the corresponding provision and update processes will be the key to monetizing investments in 5G, although as of today it’s still not completely clear about its possible uses and associated business models. For this reason, the TEAMnet team already has solutions available, such as BILLnet, that dynamically allow to define and parameterize the monetization and billing rules of these new lines of business (although many of them are yet to be defined).

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