I was recently asked to contribute a “pithy 5G metaphore” for an interview with our CEO by Manufacturing Global. Link to article.
There was a clock on it and I only had an hour or so, but this is what I came up with..
The jump from 4G to 5G is like comparing a winding single-file A-road in the English countryside to a multi-lane German autobahn. Fewer corners equal less latency, and faster information flows (up to 250x faster with a theoretical 1ms). The speed represents the bandwidth, where the 60mph national speed limit is compared with as fast as you are comfortable going. Or, in this case, up to 10Gbps, 10x more than the previous 4G/LTE speeds. The number of lanes represents one of the biggest enhancements of 5G, which is network slicing. This allows (as with the autobahn) parts of the network to go at different speeds, latencies, ranges and have different security. Finally, there is the number of cars that you can fit on the road, and more lanes means more cars. In the case of 5G, this is 1 million devices per km2 in comparison to only 4,000 with 4G. Taken together, this represents a significant uplift in capability and opportunity for the manufacturing community; our role is to explore the potential and to highlight the areas that require further work.