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A standalone 5G network has the power and reliability of fibre without the need for any cables.
A standalone (SA) 5G network gives your company all the advantages of 5G technology for innovative applications in Industry 4.0. Such a network no longer depends on an existing 4G/LTE network like non-standalone (NSA) 5G networks do. Non-standalone 5G networks do build on existing 4G/LTE infrastructure, which makes them particularly suitable for consumers and some specific industrial applications, such as virtual reality (VR).
Low latency describes the minimal signal delay that is so important for Industry 4.0. For example, imagine a sensor that detects whether a valve in a machine is open or closed. The machine can only operate reliably if the operator can see whether the valve is open or closed instantly. Standalone 5G limits this delay to just a few milliseconds.
“Your business-critical applications must not be compromised if there's a festival nearby, for example."
Quality of Service
“Reliability is just as important as low latency for industrial companies. The user, such as a chemical company, must be able to rely on the 5G network to ensure the low latency and high bandwidth it needs at all times,” Jeroen Machielsen, Value Proposition Manager B2B at Orange, says. “Your business-critical applications must not be compromised if, for example, a festival is taking place nearby and the increasing communication levels are overloading the network. Standalone 5G infrastructure uses a network that is reserved for your own applications.”
With a standalone 5G network, you can very accurately assign a network slice to specific applications. This creates a virtual network with guaranteed properties for that application. For example, you can assign VR headsets to a high-bandwidth slice and mission-critical sensors to a low-latency slice. This enables your 5G network to achieve the same quality as a fibre network.
“Thanks to 5G, industrial applications are going mobile.”
More flexible movement of systems
At the end of 2019, Orange rolled out the first standalone 5G network in Belgium in the Port of Antwerp. Within this test network, several industrial partners assessed how 5G performed in certain conditions when compared to fibre.
“One advantage of 5G at large industrial sites such as the Port of Antwerp is that it offers the quality of a fibre connection without the need for laying any cables. This allows companies to save money and gives them the freedom to move their systems around their premises. Thanks to 5G, industrial applications are becoming mobile,” Jeroen Machielsen says.
“If we join forces, we can implement 5G together and make innovative applications possible."
Co-creation is vital for making the most of 5G technology. Orange has the networking expertise, and industrial companies have expert knowledge about the specific field of their business applications. Jeroen Machielsen is convinced: “If we join forces, we can implement 5G together and make innovative applications possible.”