In many countries, the radio spectrum is highly regulated, with small portions of frequencies sold for vast sums of money to mobile network operators, enabling cellular devices with access to the Internet. With widespread adoption of 4G technology and services and the growing availability of 5G around the world, older technologies (2G and 3G) are now slowly being phased out.
The transition from 2G and 3G to the next generation of cellular networks may not happen overnight, however, migration to 4G-enabled devices has its benefits. 4G devices usually support all cellular technologies, including 2G and 3G, due to the chipsets built into the devices. This means that if a 2G-only device is replaced by a 4G-enabled device it can use those additional services should 4G be available in the area. This allows standardisation of networking equipment while using multiple cellular networks.
Migration to a new communications technology will create capital and project costs in the short term, but the possibility to gather more data than ever before, and then do more with it, will help to drive profitability in the long term. Current and next-generation services, such as 4G and 5G, pave the way for high-speed and low-latency networks that are perfect for IIoT, M2M and real-time data collection. The mass deployment of 4G worldwide has provided businesses with significant opportunities to improve performance and 5G will expand those opportunities even further.
Despite the promise of 5G, 4G will provide those migrating from 2G and 3G with a replacement service for the next decade, with 4G and 5G expected to coexist for many years to come. This means that over the next few years businesses will need to consider migrating to a newer cellular network and update their systems accordingly. For many, that will be 4G, which is already one of the most widely available and cost-effective global cellular network services.
Westermo, through the design and manufacture of data communications products for mission-critical systems in physically demanding environments, is ideally positioned to assist customers with their migration through the provision of relevant products and technical assistance.
Readers wanting more information can download the complete white paper at https://instrumentation.co.za/papers/J6163.pdf.
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