Factory 5G: A Review of Industrial-Centric Features and Deployment Options
Fine-grained and wide-scale connectivity is a precondition to fully digitalize the manufacturing industry. Driven by this need, new technologies such as time-sensitive networking (TSN), fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks, and industrial Internet-of-things (IIoT) are being applied to industrial communication networks to reach the desired connectivity spectrum. With TSN emerging as a wired networking solution, converging information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) data streams, 5G is upscaling its access and core networks to function as an independent or a transparent TSN carrier in demanding OT use-cases. In this article, we discuss the drivers for future industrial wireless systems and review the role of 5G and its industrial-centric evolution towards meeting the strict performance standards of factories. We also elaborate on the 5G deployment options, including frequency spectrum allocation and private networks, to help the factory owners discern various dimensions of solution space and concerns to integrate 5G in industrial networks.