ArcelorMittal Launches 5G Steel Initiative

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As the need to remotely monitor and manage large numbers of connected assets increases, wireless connectivity in industry continues to grow in importance. However, many current wireless and cellular networks lack the data transmission rates, reliability, and low latency required for mission-critical, industrial applications. In the case of technologies such as centrally controlled autonomous mobile robots, even small amounts of latency cannot be tolerated. Faster data transmission rates also allow for large quantities of data to be collected from intelligent field devices and enable live audio-visual remote assists to be shared with frontline workers via augmented reality (AR) headsets. 5G, the latest cellular technology in the LTE (Long-Term Evolution) family of telecommunication standards, may help to surmount these issues. While other attempts have been made to integrate cellular or other wireless networks capable of meeting the needs of industrial use-cases—such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Zigbee—these deployments have often been hindered by reliability and security concerns, as well as limitations regarding the number of devices supported and communication range. By contrast, 5G offers high data transfer rates, low latency, and a broad reach, while promising to be both secure and nearly universally supported.

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