5G vs. Wi-Fi 6 in Manufacturing

5G vs. Wi-Fi 6 in Manufacturing

Today’s manufacturing networks are mainly wired. Often times, the communication protocol is proprietary (fieldbuses, vendor-specific protocols or other industrial ethernet protocols) making it difficult to deploy factory-wide Industry 4.0 applications based on common protocols for data collection and processing.

Since connectivity plays a crucial role in the adoption of smart factory patterns, it is important to choose the right connectivity infrastructure layer that goes beyond traditional proprietary wired solutions. In fact, many use cases and applications require wireless communication, but demand secure connectivity with low latency, high throughput while keeping deployment as well as operational cost low.

Typically, Wi-Fi is used in areas with low cellular coverage, such as buildings, and to offload traffic to deal with high network traffic. On the other hand 5G promises many advantages (high Quality of Service (QoS), extremely low latency, network slicing, among others) over Wi-Fi and for the first time plays a vital role in factory connectivity.

In some cases manufacturing use cases do not require these advantages, so the decision which connectivity type to deploy can be a simple cost decision in which case Wi-Fi will complement 5G. But it is important to evaluate cases where are criteria are playing a major role.

Since various manufacturing use cases have different connectivity demands in different use case scenarios, the question remains what type of wireless connectivity (5G or Wi-Fi 6) is appropriate for the selected manufacturing use cases. These selected use cases in this article are: Mobile Robots Communication, Remote Asset Monitoring and Augmented Reality.

The goal of this article is to help factory decision makers to build a connected factory by identifying criteria from industry trials, different vendors, general research and standardization institutions for three selected manufacturing use cases.

How Wi-Fi 6 and 5G are compared

These two wireless technologies are now put into the context of three selected manufacturing use cases that serve as a foundation for identifying criteria that allows the technologies to be compared in this context.

Currently, research is conducted in the area of roaming between Wi-Fi 6 and 5G, especially in terms of connecting Wi-Fi devices to the 5G core network. The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance together with the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) published a white paper describing the factory of the future scenario using Wi-Fi and 5G.

They list several requirements such as highly reliable production-critical communications (user and control plane latency and reliability) and seamless interaction of factory devices irrespective of access layer. Such requirements are important to consider when factory decision makers choose an appropriate manufacturing connectivity type.

Selected use cases in the context of a connected factory, or often referred to as “Smart Factory”, serve as the environment for an extraction of criteria that will be used to compare Wi-Fi 6 and 5G. Factories in general can be very different, therefore, three maximum different use cases will be selected to further focus the comparison. In the following “asset” is referred to as manufacturing components, machines or tools that can be stationary or non-stationary. Assets are usually controlled via Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)s that are linked to a Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) and/or Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES).

Mobile Robots Communication

In this use case, the communication and localization of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV)s is in focus. There are research papers such as by A. Fellan et. al. that outline different communication technologies for such assets. Looking at the industry, there are players such as Escad Group that make use of Wi-Fi 5, but without localization features.

Kinexon on the other hand uses Ultra-wideband (UWB) as they include real-time localization that requires a precise communication protocol. The driving behavior of these AGVs is linked to a magnet strip in the ground or they have a fixed route. AGVs are not flexible yet and, therefore, Deutsche Telekom together with Osram trials 5G in a dual slice setup and Vodafone pilots autonomous and flexible AGVs based on 5G together with e.GO Mobile AG to achieve this.

Remote Asset Monitoring

The use case remotely controls machines in a bidirectional manner. For example, transmission of incidents (machine alerts) to factory worker devices for quick reaction or communication between enterprise applications such as the MES. A prerequisite is a data collection function that is able to convert proprietary protocols into an common standard, such as the Internet Protocol (IP)-based protocol Open Platform Communications (OPC) Unified Architecture (UA). Otherwise the data created by the machine is not usable across a factory.

3GPP’s technical report 22.804 describes a number of 5G factory of the future use cases and related challenges, for example, compatibility for more than 25 years and low power device operation, among others. Based on these use cases Shi et. al. propose a collaborative intelligent manufacturing architecture that categorizes manufacturing use cases such as “remote access and control” into a hierarchy of challenges sorted from device level (connecting many devices and real-time requirements) up to decision making level (visualization, user interaction, self-adaptation).

Not only 5G aims to address similar use cases and related challenges, but also the WBA conducts trials to address latency and high-bandwidth challenges.

Identification of criteria for 5G versus Wi-Fi 6

At this point it is important to rationally highlight the technical and implied functional differences between Wi-Fi 6 and 5G. As a guide for reference, the ITU published International Mobile Telecommunications-2020 (IMT-2020) requirements that serve as an industry standard for a global communication network. The latest draft report from 2017 was developed together with research institutions and details requirements for bandwidth, connection density, uplink and downlink, among others.

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) published an article comparing 5G ITU IMT-2020 requirements with the enhancements of the latest IEEE 802.11 capabilities. The only disadvantages of Wi-Fi 6 can be identified in peak data rates, mobility (speed) and network efficiency.

In fact, WBA claims that latency and area traffic capacity is higher in 802.11 standards. However, WBA leaves out some IMT-2020 requirements: Reliability (99.999%), bandwidth (> 100 Megahertz (MHz)), mobility interruption time (0 milliseconds (ms)) and WBA doesn’t split between user and control plane latency. Average spectral efficiency, requires to be at 3.3 times (x) in rural areas and in urban areas to be at 9x (downlink).

Also, it is not clear how Wi-Fi 6 would achieve latency below 1 ms. The most recent trial achieved below 6 ms. The WBA source does not explicitly mention the Wi-Fi 6 standard, but rather IEEE standards in general. The only IEEE standard that is targeted for such low latency is 802.11 ay, which Apple was recently rumored to include in future iPhones for AR edge processing applications.

Therefore, the 6 ms are represented in the tables forthcoming, since it is proven by a trial. Table 1 lists the comparison along with further identified criteria that will be described in the following for later use case evaluation against standards adherence.

3GPP lists reliability to be 99.999% with a user plane latency of 1 ms. in Release 17 of 5G the high accuracy positioning goes down to 0.2 meter accuracy operating at a 1 ms latency and up to 30 kilometers per hour. This works indoor and outdoor, but the distance of User Equipment (UE)s between each other have to be as close as 10 meters. Wi-Fi provides accuracy for indoor positioning below the 1 meter level according to their Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Location specification.

As a general consideration is the combination of 5G and Wi-Fi 6, which is what all vendors and standards institutes currently push for. This may be a valid effort, but for the specific use case comparison it is either 5G or Wi-Fi 6, because it would not make sense to connect an asset with both connectivity solutions, except for multiple sub use cases, which are out of scope for this paper. If factory decision makers go beyond the three use cases described in this paper and aim for a factory-wide transformation, the combination of both is a valid consideration that needs to be taken into account.

Another general consideration is the range that can be covered with wireless connectivity. According to a rather cellular focused institution (Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA)) and a Wi-Fi equipment vendor (Aruba) 5G is best suited for Wide Area Network (WAN)s and Wi-Fi is best suited for Local Area Network (LAN)s. One of the reasons why Wi-Fi 6 shines in indoor (factory) environments, is that it has the lowest cost per square meter, whereas 5G is more suitable in large areas.

The three use cases presented in this paper assume a factor (indoor) environment, but as described later, there are cases where 5G is a good alternative to Wi-Fi 6. It can be derived that Wi-Fi is built for local areas, whereas 5G can be a worldwide deployment, theoretically (public 5G is typically nation-wide). An additional source of inputs represent telecommunication providers (MNOs) and NEPs that work together with manufacturing companies to trial 5G connectivity use cases. While it may not be mentioned by these entities why they chose to conduct trials with 5G instead of Wi-Fi 6, a clear pattern can be identified when analyzing the types of manufacturing use cases.

The World Economic Forum published a detailed repository of 5G trials and use cases and it is evident that certain manufacturing use cases appear very often. This is proven by many other German 5G trials by MNOs (Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica). Among them are AR and Virtual Reality (VR) use cases, remote monitoring and control that relates to machinery and equipment. Therefore, accuracy is derived as an additional criteria, besides latency. For Wi-Fi there are two main security mechanisms: control who has access to the network (role-based access control) including configuration of the network and equipment as well as encrypted wireless traffic.

5G with 3GPP Release 15 features three main security controls: subscriber protection, radio protection and core protection. Since it is hard to quantify security and due to general architectural differences that are equally important to all three use cases, it will be not listed as a criteria in the three matrices.

However, especially in a public 5G deployment option, security has to be treated very seriously. Therefore, this general criteria will be listed in Table 1. As already mentioned by IMT-2020 and also found in other places in the literature is support for a defined amount of devices (device density). However, in the case of all three use cases it is not expected to support many devices per square meter.

The 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation (5GACIA) calculated 94 devices for all three use cases in a large deployment scenario According to the ITU (IMT-2020 requirements) 5G should support up to 1 million devices per square kilometer, which
clearly does not justify using 5G in all three use cases and Wi-Fi 6 density support is sufficient (not explicitly defined, because it depends on the bandwidth required per device). Therefore, this criteria is to be considered less important.

Lastly as a general criteria, the TCO should be highlighted. Due to the infancy of the 5G technology, there is not much valuable data available related to deployment and operational cost. Cost varies depending on the factory size, bandwidth requirements and so forth. However, many analysts and vendors agree that 5G deployment costs are higher compared to a Wi-Fi 6 network, especially if the area to be covered is small and a private 5G instance should be deployed instead of using public 5G.

Still, Paolini (Citizens Broadband Radio Service Alliance) published a TCO model for an American manufacturing plant and office campus that includes one base station along with the required equipment, software and other components to run this setup. She calculated a TCO over five years of 145,000$. For a German 500,000 m2 factory, Ericsson calculates based on a factory worth of 7468$ million (costs for a regular factory, product capital and operating expenditure) that 50$ million would be the cost for deploying a private cellular network including industry 4.0 sensors (TCO for a period
of 5 years).

ITU shares estimated 5G deployment cost (capital expenditure) for small and large cities that are 58.6$ and 54.1$ million, respectively (116 and 1027 cell sites, respectively). On top the spectrum license fee (between 3.7 and 3.8 gigahertz) has to be added (calculated with a formular provided by the German “Bundesnetzagentur”).

So factory decision makers have to validate what deployment option is applicable, whether it is using the public network (in the future they could purchase a network slice as a service from a MNO) or build their own local private 5G network (Son lists a total of seven deployment scenarios), which lets them configure the network to their specific needs, but comes at a higher price, because infrastructure has to be build and operated by the factory.

On the other side, the public network construction cost is covered by MNOs that have experience in building those, benefit from economies of scale and are subsidized by the government. Due to the very different and lacking TCO numbers, the criteria will not be listed for each use case.

Another factor for calculating cost is backward compatibility and the separation of device and network upgrade cost. Wi-Fi 6 is backward compatible to older Wi-Fi 5 devices and vice versa.

Many industrial assets already have a Wi-Fi chip included (AGVs for instance) that wouldn’t require a physical update, while cellular in-device connectivity requires expensive upgrades. In fact, with every new cellular generation, devices have to be upgraded to use the new cellular network. Depending on the country, cellular networks can be shut down due to technical reasons (such as the 3G network). Generally, networks are maintained several decades (such as 2G or 3G). In Germany Telefonica plans to shut down its 3G network at the end on 2022 after a little over 20 years.

No reference cases have been found in the literature that describe the ramp up costs or TCO over 5 years for Wi-Fi 6 (or even Wi-Fi 5). Also, there is no exact pricing available on the vendor’s websites for a holistic factory Wi-Fi setup. Therefore, no cardinal scale can be applied at this point to the criteria “TCO”. It is recommended for the decision maker to get price estimations from vendors via a request for information or quote to better quantify the criteria.

Next, the criteria identification, valuation and first evaluation for each use case follows.

Criteria 5G Wi-Fi 6
Peak Data Rate (Gbps) 20 12
Spectrum Efficiency vs LTE 3x 3x
User Experience Data Rate (Mbit) 100 100
Area Traffic Capacity Mbit/s/m2 10 400
Latency (ms) 1 <6
Connection Density (devices/km2) 1 million 1 million (depends on deployment)
Network Energy Efficiency vs. LTE 100x 30x
Mobility 500 km/h 100 km/h
Demand for Security higher high
Total Cost of Ownership higher lower
Availability 99.999% n/a
Position Accuracy 0.2 meters < 1 meter
Range public 5G is unlimited, theoretically limited to local deployment
Table 1: General Comparison 5G vs. Wi-Fi 6

Criteria for Mobile Robots Communication

Several sources in the literature describe requirements for mobile robots communication, specifically for AGVs. Here, moving AGVs are in focus. From a Wi-Fi perspective, Huawei lists (also here) the following requirements for Wi-Fi operated AGVs: 512 kilobit (kbit) data rate per second per AGV, latency less than 50 ms, latency less than 10 ms if the operating area is large (1000 square meters) and support for maximum 100 AGVs per 1000 square meters that results in a low asset density and low data rates (512 kbit per second multiplied by 100 AGVs).

In terms of physical deployment, the access point should be placed in 15 meters distance to each other, require directional antennas on both sides of the access point on the ceiling that is 8 to 12 meters high. On Huawei’s website 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are directly compared in terms of how many AGVs are supported: 5G supports 50 factory AGVs, whereas Wi-Fi 6 typically supports 30 AGVs per 1000 square meters.

From a cellular perspective, 3GPP’s technical report 22.804 highlights the following requirements to an AGV solution operated by a 5G system: it should support ground speeds up to 50 kilometers per hour, support up to 100 AGVs in a service area of 1 square kilometer and latency requirements as low as 1 ms for for precise AGV control.

For machine (AGV) control 1-10 ms and in a cooperative driving scenario 10-50 ms. If the AGV is controlled remotely via video, the latency should be between 10-100 ms and between 40-500 ms for standard AGV operation and traffic management.

Lastly, the availability of the 5G system should be at 99.9999%. Wei (Qualcomm) states a latency of 20 ms, a service availability of 99.9999% and a data rate in the area of Megabits per second (Mbps),116 which is aligned with the view of 3GPP. Doukoglou et. al. list similar criteria and data points, but they propose reliability to be at 99.999% and a much higher device density (40000).

Based on the above discussion and the strongest expression found of criteria in the literature, the identified criteria are summarized in Table 2. When comparing 5G and Wi-Fi 6 in this use case scenario, the only important difference lays in the service availability, otherwise Wi-Fi 6 is still a valid alternative. Qualcomm confirms the fact that 5G can provide better reliability for AGVs in a 5G system setup. The industry
currently trials as already mentioned 5G operated AGVs (Vodafone).

Criteria 5G Wi-Fi 6
Latency 1-10ms 1 ms (+++) <6 ms (+++)
Data Rate 512 kbit per AGV 20 Gpbs (+++) 12 Gpbs (+++)
Range up to 1000m2 unlimited (+++) limited to local deployment (++)
Asset density up to 100 per 1000m2 50 (++) 30 (+)
Service availability 99.9999% 99.999% (++) not defined (+)
Ground speed support up to 50 km/h 500 km/h (+++) 100 km/h (+++)
Table 2: Decision Matrix and Evaluation in terms of adherence to standard publications
for Mobile Robots Communication

Criteria for Remote Asset Monitoring

From a cellular perspective, the 5G technical report 22.804 lists just one quantifyable criteria, which is backward compatible for greater than 25 years at UE level. Then, the 5G system should support ad-hoc connections to an asset from a remote service or 5G UE and must not disturb other communication through the same network.

The 5G system should be able to classify data flows as real-time and non-real-time and should automatically discover other near 5G UEs. This is important for situations where a worker is not familiar with the plant, stands in front of multiple 5G connected machines and has to discover it the different UEs. In another 3GPP technical specification (22.261), requirements in terms of reliability and latency are listed. The data rates should be around 1 Mbps, the service availability 99.9% and in some cases the area to be covered 10000 square kilometers (chemical areas).

Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie (ZVEI) adds 10000 devices per square kilometer to this list and mentions an availability of 99.99%. Wei (Qualcomm) quantifies the demands for sensors used for process monitoring. According to him, the latency should be in the range of 100 ms, the service availability at 99.99% and the data rate in the kbit range.

5GACIA states 50 kbps in uplink and downlink. The backward compatibility is always a given in Wi-Fi, since all Wi-Fi devices can be operated in new versions of Wi-Fi. Older devices (for instance Wi-Fi 5) work in Wi-Fi 6, but without making use of the Wi-Fi 6 enhancements. In fact, the device upgrade is decoupled from the infrastructure upgrade as already described. Wi-Fi clearly is the safer alternative when it comes to backward compatibility and considering network shutdowns (for example 3G) as described above.

Based on the criteria and performance requirements, there are only rare scenarios where 5G shines and this is in case manufacturing plant is very large with a range up to 10000 square kilometers. In fact, recent partnership announcements on the Wi-Fi vendor site targeting remote asset monitoring use cases, such as between Aruba Networks and Siemens, confirm that Wi-Fi is a valid choice. This is also confirmed by WBAs most recent trial. Also, if the use case is broadened to remote control with higher availability and latency requirements, 5G becomes a more appropriate consideration.

Based on the above discussion and the strongest expression found of criteria in the literature, the identified criteria are summarized in Table 3.

Criteria 5G Wi-Fi 6
Latency < 100ms 1 ms (+++) < 6 ms (+++)
Data Rates 1 Mbps 20 Gbps (+++) 12 Gbps (+++)
Service availability at 99.99% 99.999% (+++) n/a (++)
Backward compatibility at UE level > 25 years Depends on country (++) generally backward compatible (+++)
Range up to 10,000 km2 unlimited (+++) limited to local deployment (++)
Table 3: Decision Matrix and Evaluation in terms of adherence to standard publications
for Remote Asset Monitoring

Criteria for Augmented Reality

Using AR in manufacturing requires head-mounted displays worn by workers on the shop floor. The reason why reliable connectivity is required is that for the wearable to be lightweight, the data has to be offloaded to an external processing entity (for example an edge server).

From an industry and trials perspective, most recently Lufthansa Technik deployed its own local 5G network with the help of Vodafone and Nokia. The goal of the trial is to conduct remote inspection and to visualize design data with AR of the planned cabin interior. One of the requirements was to cover a 8500 square meter area of hangars. Therefore, Range can be derived as a criteria.

The Aruba AirSlice technology (only available on Wi-Fi 6 routers) can be seen as something similar to 5G Network Slicing as it delivers Service Level Agreement (SLA)-based quality for AR/VR applications. The fact that similar approaches for logically slicing networks to assure contractually defined quality criteria exist on the market, negates the argument of the necessity to deploy a private 5G network and to assure quality criteria for AR/VR applications.

Ericsson, for instance, pushes due to the nature of its business, heavily on 5G solutions, but might not be the solution of choice. Actually, it is feasible to slice a Wi-Fi Radio Access Network (RAN) in 5G networks. Therefore, the criteria to be derived is therefore not the availability of a technology similar to network slicing, but rather the quality of service demands of the AR use case.

The GSMA describes an accuracy lower than one meter for use cases similar to AR in manufacturing. In terms of data rate a huge discrepancy was found: Intel lists a peak data of 10 Gbps for AR use cases and GSMA lists between 40 Mbps and 3.36 Gbps for combined AR/VR use cases (depending on the maturity of the use case and level of interaction). Regarding latency, GSMA lists a round trip time of maximum 30 ms (2 dimensional) or 20 ms for 3 dimensional interactions, respectively. This number decreases with the level of interaction and maturity of the use cases down to 5 ms.

According to Qualcomm only 10 ms are required to operate AR head-mounted displays. Another criteria that can be derived is packet loss (reliability), which is at 0.0024% (99.99% availability) up to 0.0001% (99.999% availability) according to GSMA, again based on the same use case maturity and interaction assumptions. However, here Qualcomm mentions an up-time of only 99.9%. 3GPP confirms the criteria described by GSMA for AR applications in a 5G context that run at 1080 pixels resolution and 60 hertz refresh rate.

The technical report that describes the requirements for an AR use case covers end to end latency that should be smaller than 50 ms, service availability at least at 99.9% or higher, the accuracy better than 1 meter and the latency for positioning estimation lower than 15 ms at 10 km/h. Additionally, the report mentions a seamless handover from one
base station to another (mobility). Seamless handover between 5G base stations (or Wi-Fi access points) is seen as a base requirement that counts for both connectivity solutions. No rational scale can be found in literature that would lay out potential differences regarding this finding. Therefore it will not be considered as criteria for the decision matrix.

From a Wi-Fi perspective, Huawei describes for AR/VR applications with strong interactions a data rate requirement of more than 260 Mbit per second (comfortable experience level) up to and more than 1 Gbps in an ideal experience scenario. The latter requires latency to be lower than 8 ms and packet loss less than 0.000001 (99.9999% reliability), whereas the comfortable experience requires a latency of less than 15 ms and a packet loss of less than 0.00001 (99.999% reliability). While the latency requirements are similar to the other sources, the packet loss or reliability criteria differs significantly.

In terms of TCO considerations for AR, it is important to mention a potential Multiaccess Edge Computing (MEC) infrastructure for data offloading and processing at the edge. According to GSMA these costs are rather low in comparison to the actual 5G network (RAN infrastructure, energy, among others).

Based on the above discussion and the strongest expression found of criteria in the literature, the identified criteria are summarized in Table 4.

Criteria 5G Wi-Fi 6
Range up to 8500 m2 Unlimited (+++) limited to local deployment (+)
Accuracy < 1 meter 0.2 meters (+++) < 1 meter (+++)
Peak data rate up to 10 Gpbs 20 Gbps (+++) 12 Gbps (+++)
Packet loss < 0.0024 or reliability of 99.99% 99.999%(+++) n/a (++)
Latency < 10 ms < 1 ms (+++) < 6 ms (+++)
Total Cost of Ownership higher (+) lower (+++)
Ground speed up to 10 km/h 500 km/h (+++) 100 km/h (+++)
Table 4: Decision Matrix and Evaluation in terms of adherence to standard publications
for Augmented Reality

Summary & Further considerations

The article provides a comprehensive summary and discussion of 5G and Wi-Fi 6 in the context of three use cases: Mobile Robots Communication, Remote Asset Monitoring and Augmented Reality. Based on trials, standardization work, vendor and analyst viewpoints several technological criteria have been derived that support decision-making for factory managers in charge.

At first a general comparison has been provided in Table 1 concluding that 5G has higher availability, will be more precise (with Release 17), supports faster UE movements up to 500 km/h, has better energy efficiency and supports higher peak data rates. However, these advantages come at a higher price and factory managers have to consider many different deployment options for calculating a business case.

Since it was not part of this paper to calculate return in investment models, several quantitative factors and considerations have been outlined. In terms of the AGV use case, it can be summarized that 5G may provide a more reliable option that supports more AGVs per square kilometer, but only at a higher price. Regarding the remote monitoring use cases Wi-Fi 6 is clearly the sufficient and cost-effective solution.

There is no need to build a private 5G network just for the remote monitoring use case. Lastly, for the AR use case it was outlined that there are some manufacturers requiring large range support for their devices (up to 8500 square kilometers) . In this case 5G will be the alternative of choice. If not, Wi-Fi 6 will be sufficient, although reliability in terms of packet is loss in higher with 5G.

As a general remark in terms of technology adoption it is clear that Wi-Fi 6 is available now, while 5G will realize its promises within the next 5 years when it comes to standardization and infrastructure deployment. This needs to be taken into account when deciding on a connectivity solution. The valuation (scale) and evaluation (adherence to standard publications) done in the decision matrices (Table 2, Table 3 and Table 4) was done based on rational technological evaluation when comparing the two connectivity standards.

To almost all criteria a cardinal scale could be applied with a few valuated with an ordinary scale due to lack of information (such as TCO) in literature or no specific boundary (such as Range). Security as a general criteria is not quantifyable, therefore, only an ordinary scale has been applied.

As a next step, further research has to be conducted with decision makers with different business drivers and other circumstances. Based on their input, the weighting and evaluation process based on Multi-criteria Decision Analysis has to be applied. It is expected that the result will be different for each manufacturing company. For example, the range of how far the network should reach in the AR use case depends on the type of manufacturing company use case.

Considering different circumstances is part of future work that includes the evaluation and weighting in the next phase. As a result, industry patterns can be derived where manufacturers in the chemical industry may apply similar weighting and yield similar results. Weighting and evaluation of the criteria by automotive manufacturers may be different.

Since the decision at hand can be highly subjective and influenced by additional criteria that are exclusive to the company’s situation, they might exclude one alternative. In the AGV and AR use cases accuracy and localization is extremely important. There are other real-time location systems technologies such as Ultra Wideband (IEEE 802.15.3a) or radio-frequency identification or Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) (ISO/IEC 19762:2016146) that need to be considered.

Also, the technology “Ultra Wideband” is not considered in this article and may have additional advantages such as extremely precise localization by using time of flight and high sampling rates (10 to 30 centimeters). To cope with high latency demands, adjacent IEEE standards, such as Time-sensitive Networking (TSN) need to be considered as well. The Wi-Fi Alliance currently is aiming to include TSN in the future Wi-Fi standard 802.11be (most likely named Wi-Fi 7). Also 3GPP aims to provide interoperability with TSN, which is evident in the technical report 38.825.

View this article for a quick 5G overview in terms of use cases and industries.

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