How 5G network slicing can help the construction industry

CT156-34Burcin Kaplanoglu

Executive director innocation, Oracle Construection and Engineering
www.oracle.com/nz

As more stories come out about the potential use of 5G across different industries, the construction industry is one that could quickly see specific – and significant – benefits from the technology.

One such use case could be around the “network slicing” capability of 5G, which enables communication service providers to tailor connectivity services to the precise requirements of any given application, user, device, or context.

Practical benefits of 5G for construction projects

Monitoring the health, location, status, and specifications of assets of all kinds on site is crucial, and 5G can help in terms of data collection, capture, and analysis.

This can, for example, confirm whether site machinery is operational and available to be used, and capture the status of an order such as a window frame or fire extinguisher to assist to ensure the project schedule is on track.

High bandwidth and low latency from 5G should improve data capture across project delivery processes. Increased visibility into data informs decision-making in the design phase helps minimise issues and changes during construction, and potentially decreases future renovations.

As technology solutions available to construction projects gain traction, we could see more IoT [Internet of Things] and reality capture solutions on site helping in a number of ways.

They can provide real-time, rich, visual information to the owner as well as an on-demand transparent view of the project at any particular moment in time. But what additional value could network slicing bring to construction’s use of 5G?

Tiered prioritisation

For construction businesses to benefit from these use cases, connectivity will be key to ensure the information captured is available at the point and time of need.

As a result, bandwidth will become a potential battleground on site as the competition for which data and information is most important intensifies.

A possible solution is to adopt a tiered prioritisation approach, ensuring 5G capabilities are utilised on those processes requiring the greatest bandwidth such as video or other visuals.

It would essentially mean creating different access points and levels for specific use cases.

The benefits of 5G and capabilities of “network slicing” open up many possibilities for engineering and construction businesses to find efficiencies, improve safety, mitigate risk, and reduce security concerns on projects while the build quality can also be enhanced through more accurate updates to the real time plan.

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