September 16, 2021

Industry 4.0 Explores 5G and the Edge

E2E orchestration will drive effective deployment, management and monetization of 5G and edge services.

5G and edge applications are driving forces in Industry 4.0 development. Although companies are just starting to explore the intersection of these two technologies in limited use cases, a clearer view of the potential of 5G and the edge is emerging.   

Current Development
Private networks are the ideal starting point for 5G and edge development because they allow enterprises to explore the technologies in a controlled environment. Many verticals want 5G environments with high performance and low-latency multi-access edge computing (MEC) applications, such as video surveillance and IoT analysis. As a result, commercial use cases are increasingly focusing on 5G and MEC applications, and verticals are starting to learn about broader uses of 5G and edge technology. 

A recent MEF PoC for Industry 4.0 from Netcracker and its partners exemplifies this trend. The PoC used on-premise IoT apps hosted on open compute platforms and connected with private 5G to increase factory automation and performance. Their use of different public hyperscaler and CSP edge platforms for instantiating apps and associated connectivity showed the vital importance of E2E orchestration in the increasingly complex multivendor environments of 5G and the edge.  

Challenges and Solutions
Edge services are usually hosted on the network edge or on premises, but some aspects of the services can also be hosted in regional or core data centers. Reimagining the operations environment with an E2E view through orchestration can unify services and prepare the network for the right RAN QoS, MEC hosting interconnectivity and 5G-core breakout services.

Edge service orchestration provides:

  • Intelligent placement of MEC applications in the optimal host and automated deployment, configuration and lifecycle management.
  • E2E management of the MEC service lifecycle across RAN, transport and core domains, including assurance and continuous optimization.
  • Transparent management to seamlessly modify networks and attain E2E automation and optimization.
  • Support and rapid onboarding for expanding partner ecosystems through partner pre-integration and integration.

E2E edge orchestration of services provides the foundation for driving the profitability and development of 5G and edge applications.

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