According to a report by ABI Research, there will be over 49 million 5G connections in manufacturing and industrial firms worldwide by 2030, generating $2.4 billion in revenue for suppliers.

As per the report, network upgrades can help manufacturers automate quality assurance processes, deploy autonomous mobile robots inside the facility, and upskill employees using augmented reality. Additionally, lower latency and support for time-sensitive networking offered by 5G network can enable wireless process automation for robotics use cases and increase bandwidth support for data-heavy applications, such as video analytics.

Commenting on the report, Michael Larner, research director, ABI Research, said, “Progressive advancements to network performance (from Wi-Fi to long term evolution (LTE), and from LTE to 5G) can underpin improvements to customers’ operations. But to maximise the benefits to their operations, customers will need to invest in ancillary technologies, such as edge networking, data management, and data analytics, to accelerate data collection and create a digital thread.”

The report noted that, however, a lack of 5G industrial devices has stalled manufacturers’ interest in 5G private wireless. In turn, the lack of enthusiasm has discouraged hardware suppliers from creating the necessary devices. As a result of the state of flux, equipment vendors have launched converged devices supporting Wi-Fi, LTE, and 5G connectivity.