As the network edge expands to accommodate the increasing number of mobile devices, desktop computers, TVs, streaming sticks, game consoles, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, looking back to the past can offer valuable insights.
There is a general consensus that desktop computers and displays are commonly linked to a private or public network, as well as the internet, in what is known as a client/server arrangement.
The client computer (PC) uses programmes stored locally, and only communicates with remote servers (such as other computers, mainframes, and storage networks) when it needs more information or computational power.
The concept of edge computing is analogous; since the data centre of a service provider is far away, processing power and storage must be positioned at the network edge, close to devices like smart TVs. Furthermore, requests and responses travelling between the network edge and data centre take a significant amount of time in cyberspace.
To address this issue, enterprises are relocating their data centres, servers, and applications closer to the network perimeter. This move enables users who are far away to conveniently access the services and data provided by the company.
Compared to client/server architectures, edge computing demands a greater number of components and computing power. The process begins with a device sending a request to an edge gateway device, typically a router with limited request-processing abilities.
The gateway can either meet the request on its own (like downloading a media file to a mobile device) or transfer it to a server with sophisticated processing capabilities (often located in the cloud or a data centre) that employs Artificial Intelligence.
The Extent of Applicability of 5G
Currently, there are 5G cellular networks that offer high-speed and low latency, albeit not the ultra-fast mmWave 5G networks that have been extensively discussed. These networks operate in low to mid-frequency ranges and offer download and upload speeds along with latency similar to those of a top-tier residential service. With these networks operational, the expansion of the network is expected to happen at a faster pace.
The merger of 5G-enabled Edge Computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) will transform essential services, such as telemedicine, by granting people with a 5G connection instantaneous access to life-saving medical services. Also, this merger is anticipated to bring about a considerable improvement in customer satisfaction, as app downloads and weather app radar updates will occur almost immediately.
Edge computing provides a range of opportunities for improving the in-store retail experience, such as providing real-time coupons to consumers while they browse. Additionally, 5G connectivity will be advantageous for gamers, enabling them to carry their preferred games with them, thanks to content delivery networks and IoT devices like smartphone-connected virtual reality headsets.
The implementation of 5G technology has the capacity to transform several sectors, such as manufacturing, logistics, transportation, asset management, business, and healthcare. This new high-speed networking capability will have significant and widespread effects.
The advent of 5G technology has the potential to transform asset monitoring. Tracking consumer item pallets, shipping containers, mining equipment, and intensive care heart monitors, among other things, will become significantly more straightforward. Currently, handheld scanners and barcodes, QR codes, and/or radio frequency ID tags do a lot of the tracking work. However, these methods can be tedious, imprecise, and time-consuming.
Automating and optimizing tracking can be achieved through the assistance of 5G and the Internet of Things. This technology brings a plethora of advantages to hospitals, governments, and corporations, including the ability to save thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars. Furthermore, it enables the real-time monitoring of the current situation of objects, such as whether they have been damaged or tampered with, and provides information about their history, temperature, and other factors. The only restriction on the data that can be collected is the range and diversity of sensors and the user’s imagination.
Businesses are seeking to harness the potential of 5G networks in the manufacturing industry. Through the incorporation of IoT and 5G, machines in factories will be capable of communicating with each other and human operators, issuing notifications of possible malfunctions, and recommending modifications to optimize performance based on shifting conditions and needs.
Digital twins, electronic duplicates of physical machines powered by Artificial Intelligence, can be utilized to boost performance from a distance, decrease the probability of accidents, and reduce the number of faulty products.
Initiatives are being taken to connect ambulances directly to emergency room physicians. By transforming the ambulance into an edge device, physicians can track the patient’s vital signs and receive live video footage from the scene. Upon the patient’s arrival at the emergency room, physicians can work in conjunction with the paramedics to offer the best feasible treatment.
The potential of 5G, the edge, and the Internet of Things is already making a tangible difference, with their impacts already being experienced in many aspects of our lives. Whether it’s playing video games with virtual reality goggles in a park, predicting machine failure, or enhancing healthcare on the way to the hospital, 5G is making its mark. We should anticipate further advancements in this field soon.