When you need industrial automation that requires a reliable low latency connection to operate, a 5G private network may be your only connectivity choice right now. 

Ericsson made this point in its latest Mobility Report, which, among other things, looked at the uses of private networks for enterprises. One aspect that is important is the latency that can be achieved by a network in key industrial operations, the vendor stressed.

“For equipment running industrial automation protocols (for example, a port crane using the Profinet protocol)… it is essential the network provides consistent low latency, without the spikes that WiFi may bring,” Ericsson wrote in the report. A remote control crane operator, it noted, requires the controls to respond in less than 75ms. “Longer than this can cause frustration, user nausea, and service disruption,” the telco vendor said.

In theory, a company could use a standalone (SA) 5G connection from an mobile network operator (MNO) to provide this, as Telstra in Australia has shown in the past few months. The only problem being that not a whole lot of MNOs provide a standalone link yet.

So, for many companies a 5G private network is the only way to get a low latency standalone connection for automation on the factory floor.

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