At last, the wait for 5G is nearly over. As this map shows, coverage is widespread across much of the U.S., in 24 EU countries, and in pockets around the globe.

The new wireless standard is worth the wait. Compared to 4G, the new wireless standard can move more data from the edge, with less latency. And connect many more users and devices—an important development given that the IDC estimates 152,000 new Internet of Things (IoT) devices per minute by 2025. Put it together, and 5G is a game-changing backhaul for public networks. (Wi-Fi 6, often mentioned in the same breath as 5G, is generally used for private WANs – e.g., for first responders.)

Getting ready pays off

Like the wireless advances that came before it (3G in 2002, 4G in 2009), 5G helps enable businesses to re-imagine operations to increase efficiency. Utilities are planning to put 5G to work for distribution automation and renewable energy management. Fleet operators will stream video from HD security cameras and other IoT devices back to the operations center. The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) plans to connect firefighters, police, and ambulance fleets over 5G backhaul. Manufacturers are getting ready to monitor indoor work environments for safety and health, automate asset tracking inside the factory, and even troubleshoot using augmented reality.

What’s the smartest way to prepare 5G at your network’s edge? Focus on flexibility – because wireless innovation surely won’t stop with 5G. Buying new routers whenever a new wireless standard is introduced is costly. It ties up IT teams. And leads to environmental waste.

As you prepare, look beyond 5G

What if you could future proof your edge network – getting ready for 5G today and also for whatever advances the future will bring? Most of our customers deploy their industrial networks for as long as 7 to 10 years. Ripping and replacing these devices to accommodate advances – especially when they are in remote or hard to access places – is not always possible.

Imagine that you can adapt to new business needs or adopt new standards without buying a whole new router (or hundreds or thousands of them!). You can lower costs and help the environment. And nudge the world closer to a circular economy that makes better use of limited natural resources.

Intrigued? We have these capabilities today in our industrial router, Cisco IR1101. Learn more when we announce new edge innovations on June 15, 2021. For a deeper dive, register here for our digital event on June 17, 2021.


Patrick Grossetete

Distinguished Engineer, Technical Marketing

Industrial IOT Networking