With privacy and security aforethought, industries can secure 5G infrastructures using custom signal waveforms. Read on to find out more…

Congestions on 4G networks have been holding back speeds and creating latency, highlighting the need for new 5G capacity to relieve pressure.

With the rising reliance on virtualizing work processes during the COVID-19 epidemic, the necessity for sophisticated 5G infrastructure has become critical. Tremendous opportunities in smart city planning can also render more countries pandemic-resilient.

But other than the well-known benefits (and cyber vulnerabilities) of 5G, Vinay Ravuri, Chief Executive Officer and founder of EdgeQ, has some disruptive insights to share with DigiconAsia.net.

Read on to find out about a greenfield opportunity he wants to share with the world…

DigiconAsia: Can you share with readers how 5G is accelerating the Industry 4.0 paradigm?

Vinay Ravuri (VR): At EdgeQ, we view 5G as a foundational technology to the digitalization of physical assets. The 5G construct extends beyond just communications. It is about capturing the shelf life of data and immediately harnessing its temporal value. It is about bringing compute to the data. 

For the first time in cellular history, the industry can leverage a piece of commercial technology and adapt it in innovative manners that provide greater autonomy, richer serviceability, smarter intelligence in its applicability.  

We see major ports leveraging private 5G networks and computer vision running at the edge to automate the entire logistics process and cut turnaround times from a week to a day:

  • AI-guided decisions are made locally as smart cameras detect, recognize, and instruct incoming trucks based on signage and serial ID.
  • Trucks are then automatically guided to the proper docking zones as the respective cargos are unloaded just in time. 
  • This is all autonomously conducted through a local mesh of cameras, 5G network, and a private edge cloud.
  • To manage and track a fleet of high velocity collaborative robots zooming through massive warehouses to retrieve and deliver packages, secure private 5G networks are necessary.
  • The unique application of 5G + AI is helping to modernize this long-standing supply chain problem into a new effortless and efficient way of life.

As massive data sets get generated by more and more intelligent machines, we will require a concise, reliable feedback loop between connectivity and compute resources. 5G enables high speed cobots in Industry 4.0 warehouses where speed, throughput, and delivery are the key performance indices of customer satisfaction.

DigiconAsia: How do 5G private networks with “flexible, custom waveforms for smart city and national defence applications” benefit smart cities?

VR: 5G democratizes connectivity by providing optionality and choice to the market. This is unprecedented in cellular history as it allows new players, new suppliers, and new entrants into the communications market. 

Consequently, you will start to see the advent of secure, private 5G networks in enterprises. Imagine airports, stadiums, municipals, campuses, factories, or national defense facilities having the ability to set up and deploy their own 5G private networks, no different than how Wi-Fi zones are created today. That will be a market disruption.

One of the really unique instantiation of 5G is the ability to create flexible, custom waveforms that are secure and tailored. For national defence applications, imagine leveraging a commercially available 5G infrastructure platform and equipment, but you now replace parts of it with a highly-secure custom waveform that only authorized parties can receive and decode. 

As industries and government become more comfortable with such innovative use cases of 5G, they will rely on such waveform customizations to protect and enhance their networks.

DigiconAsia: 5G and AI have always been conceived as a complementary pair of technologies at the edge. Are there recent developments and trends to improve this synergy in terms of cybersecurity and/or other business concerns?

VR: EdgeQ was started with the postulate that massive data sets generated by the next trillions of devices are only meaningful with edge computation.

5G & AI are vital to how we digitize physical assets for automation in a hyper-connected world, especially as AI becomes more pervasive. And that inspired us to construct a new fabric that uniquely binds 5G connectivity and Machine Intelligence for real-time synthesis at the edge.

We view these complementary technologies through two different corollaries:  How can 5G be enabled by AI? Or, how can AI be enabled by 5G? 

  • In the former, you will start to see innovations in which resource management, spectrum allocation, anomaly detection, traffic prediction, optimizations are driven by AI to enrich the 5G experience. These would be transparently infused in enterprise and industrial environments in which network management and performance is mission critical. 
  • In the latter, you will also see novel AI enabled by 5G use—cases such as precision agriculture, traffic management, defect control, remote operations, surveillance, where connectivity to the cloud via 5G is essential. 

DigiconAsia: What is this concept of a ‘digital silk road’ and its impact on the future of semiconductors and 5G investments in Asia? 

VR: The digital silk road is really about creating and harnessing digital assets. 

We have evolved from a consumptive model of information access (i.e., via internet access) to a transformative model. Regardless of whether we are talking about Factory 4.0, autonomous vehicles, or even the Metaverse, one needs to create the enabling infrastructure or ‘digital road’ that enables all this. The access, supply, or control of digital roads is made smooth as silk by fast and secure wireless infrastructure. 

Now is the time to modernize wireless infrastructure by allowing the market choice and flexibility of chips, hardware, and software:

  • There is an opportunity to cloudify the infrastructure so that it is agile, scalable, and adaptable
  • There is a significant opportunity to lower the entry barrier of 5G so that enterprises and governments can deploy their own private networks
  • Both the technological and market disruptions make customized, private 5G edge segments a very important market as we expect wireless broadband connectivity to become an infrastructural necessity

Yet, no semiconductor companies are currently addressing the 5G edge—a greenfield opportunity that requires new designs, new architecture, new features that are not offered today. We hope to contribute with

a clean slate approach to converge 5G connectivity, compute, and the cloud all into a tiny silicon that is completely software defined, completely elastic.  

DigiconAsia thanks Vinay for sharing his visions of a secure and elastic 5G infrastructural edge.