Private 5G networks: predictive equipment maintenance, drone and autonomous robot management


According to the Analysis Mason Survey for 2022, there are approximately 1,900 private LTE or 5G networks worldwide. The majority of these are used in industrial enterprises and airports.

Why are private 5G networks so popular?

Fifth-generation networks offer several important advantages that are not available to wired and Wi-Fi networks:

1. Coverage inside and outside..

Mobile networks have better penetration and coverage. One external antenna covers up to several kilometers and provides communication over a large area inside and outside the building.

2. Minimization of blind spots.

Signals penetrate through metal structures and walls of buildings with dense materials.

3. Remote object control.

With very low latency and high information transfer speed, 5G allows for precise determination of object location in real-time.

4. Data security.

User equipment and 5G software must authenticate each other before opening an encrypted connection to transmit data.

5. Wireless device connection.

This allows for flexibility and variability in the use of managed equipment by moving them at any time without compromising the system and its operation.

Real-world examples of using 5G networks.

1. Predictive equipment maintenance.

Emergency repairs require prompt production shutdowns and high maintenance costs. Preventative maintenance is not always justified, so companies are moving towards predictive maintenance, which is more efficient and based on data collected from machine nodes and aggregates, devices, and mechanisms.

How do private 5G networks help with this? The use of fifth-generation networks allows for the organization of predictive maintenance by:

  • reliable and fast collection of large amounts of data from sensors;
  • prompt transmission of information for processing;
  • reacting within milliseconds to prevent failures;
  • supporting network quality parameters as new devices are connected.

The project was implemented by Telefónica Tech and Grupo Álava, an engineering service company in Spain.

2. Autonomous robot management.

Yawata Eloctrode factory in Thailand uses autonomous mobile robots that require precise navigation and route planning to avoid obstacles. The following is needed for this:

  • low latency signal to promptly respond to obstacles;
  • high network bandwidth to receive information about obstacles and transmit commands to the robot;
  • large coverage area to manage devices in multiple buildings and outside them without installing multiple access points.

Of all the options for deploying a private network, the optimal solution was to use 5G, which provides sufficient coverage area, fast information transfer, and the ability to use data from sensors and cameras to build routes and manage robots.

3. Drone control.

Inspection of hard-to-reach industrial objects, mines, drilling rigs, pipelines is a very expensive and complex process. Drones can reduce inspection costs and facilitate the process by transmitting high-quality images.

For this one needs:

  • high speed and quality of information transmission to examine details in real-time;
  • maximum network security level to prevent unauthorized access to devices;
  • large coverage area with limited equipment.

5G network is used to manage UAVs, which allows for real-time control of the aircraft, analyze photos and videos from drones.

How Epol Soft helps private 5G network development:

Our team develops software for mobile communication, including fifth-generation networks, such as:

  • Operation Support Systems (OSS);
  • Equipment identification solutions;
  • Traffic simulators.

You can find more about our telecom projects here.