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Digital transformation of manufacturing and the role of operators in the 5G era

Manufacturing is recognised as a key strategic sector due to its large share of economic output and, increasingly, its focal point in the wider trend of digital transformation. Shocks to demand and supply chains associated with the Covid-19 pandemic are likely to accelerate adoption of technologies (namely, cloud, automation and IoT) for efficiency gains in the sector.

Operators have had limited involvement with the manufacturing sector, with relationships usually confined to traditional B2B connectivity and, to a lesser extent, services in cloud, security, analytics and IoT. This is, however, rapidly changing as a result of the enhanced capabilities offered by 5G. 5G in factories is in its early stages, but over the next two years technical specifications will be finalised, including those permitting standalone network deployments – a prerequisite for many low-latency applications such as robotic machinery.

This latest report from GSMA Intelligence looks at the key technologies set to accelerate the digitisation of manufacturing, the role operators can play in the vertical and how they can speak to the needs of manufacturers to capture the 5G opportunity in the sector.

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