The specifications of network slicing and a number of key attributes of 5G networks—such as ultra-low latency and increased bandwidth—are ideal for large-scale deployment of transformative technologies.
Applications like holograms, high-definition video, industrial automation and virtual and augmented reality can support remote collaboration in novel ways. These technologies could become increasingly important as companies continue to work to support a distributed staff and search for a competitive edge through new business opportunities and reduced travel expenditures and carbon emissions.
VR training could help onboard or upskill employees remotely, giving them lifelike hands-on experience with heavy machinery in a safe environment. Oil, gas and other utility enterprises can deploy this technology to help reduce the time and costs of employee training programs.
Augmented reality (AR) could help engineers in the field share what they see with experienced staff at headquarters—or in their own homes—who can provide expert advice as though they were shoulder-to-shoulder with their colleagues. Surgeons could perform or guide operations remotely with real-time haptic feedback applications.
Colleagues can collaborate on design and architectural problem-solving through VR, holograms and digital twin technologies, all supported by state-of-the-art audio-visual technology and 5G. Broadcasters could wirelessly cover live sporting events—and do so without expensive production equipment, long setup times or a large workforce.
An ultra-reliable and resilient network is necessary for each of these applications—and especially for VR, which requires high levels of computing power. Dedicating a network slice to VR could not only ensure seamless performance but maintain business as usual for the rest of the network.
A 5G connection could not only make these remote collaboration applications only possible but accessible—and without prohibitive upfront costs—to people dispersed geographically. 5G's network slicing capabilities could help businesses deliver services and applications tailored to their customers' needs, using specific criteria like latency and security to segment traffic and separate virtual networks.