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March 7, 2019 Jeremy Boren

TechHub: 5G Rising, Manufacturing Hot Streak, Cybersecurity Jobs Aplenty, APM

Deploying 5G Wireless Coverage — a Few Thousand Feet at a Time

NPR visited Sacramento, Calif., one of four cities where Verizon is testing super-fast 5G wireless technology.

One of the biggest changes for consumers will occur when smartphones with 5G connections begin to hit the market later this year. Frank Gillett, a principal analyst with Forrester, says there will be more uses for apps with augmented reality and virtual reality.

Imagine apps “that let you hold the phone up and see an overlay of a Tyrannosaurus rex charging down the street. And because [5G] can quickly send rich pictures down to your phone, the idea is that all that will work magically better,” Gillett says.

It kind of calls to mind the scene in Back to the Future II when Marty gets chomped by a virtual shark in an ad for “Jaws 19…”


Other takeaways in the story:

⦿ 5G cells are the size of a laptop, and cover only a few thousand feet

⦿ It could negate the need to rip up streets to install residential fiber

⦿ 5G could enable faster orders to manufacturing assembly lines

⦿ Self-driving vehicles will need 5G to communicate fast enough

U.S. Manufacturing on a Hot Streak

A surge in U.S. production of long-lasting goods such as machinery and transportation equipment is boosting manufacturing and pushing factories to hire, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“America’s factories are hiring again. After years of job losses, U.S. manufacturing employment has risen for 18 straight months among those holding production or nonsupervisory jobs, the longest stretch of gains since the mid-1990s. Employers have added 274,000 non-managerial manufacturing jobs since July 2017, Labor Department figures show.”techhub-manufacturing

WSJ highlights a great example of how one manufacturing company has deployed technology to free workers to take on important tasks.

“Surging demand for its products has sent Republic Wire Inc. on a hiring spree in West Chester, Ohio. The producer of copper and aluminum wiring has boosted its team by 50% over five years to 140 people. The company has automated work where it can. Machines now box and label wire, and add the packages to shipping pallets—work that previously required up to nine staffers—freeing employees for higher-value tasks.”

U.S. Companies Contending with Huge Deficit in Cybersecurity Specialists

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (yep, that’s NICE) reports there’s a deficit of 314,000 cybersecurity specialists, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

For comparison’s sake, that’s more people than Pittsburgh’s population.

Cybersecurity breaches are increasing, but many companies, particularly small ones, are having trouble finding help, in part because employees are balking at the high cost of returning to school for additional training. Some companies are offering to cover the costs.

“If you look at technology in general … there’s challenges everywhere, but cybersecurity is particularly unique because the damage associated with a shortage [in workers] is significant,” said Leona Mitchell, founding director of the Professional Institute at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Computing and Information, the PG reported.

Join GrayMatter and GE Digital for a Discussion about Asset Performance Management

Join Dan Parker from GE Digital and Paul Casto of GrayMatter at 2 p.m. (EST) March 13 for Maximizing Value from Your Asset Management Strategy, a one-hour webinar hosted by IndustryWeek. Dan and Paul will walk through a few customer stories and give our take on how to start and grow a culture that values asset performance. We’ll also highlight how innovative digital twin and prescriptive analytics technologies are being utilized today to improve maintenance data integrity, detect potential failures earlier, and accurately recommend asset management actions.

It will be a valuable opportunity to really dig in. Register today.

Jeremy Boren

Jeremy is GrayMatter's Brand Manager and the author of TechHub and the emPOWERUP Podcast. He writes about digital solutions, trends and culture in the world of operational technology. Jeremy's background is in daily journalism. He has a passion for storytelling and enjoys highlighting the technologies and professionals taking on complex challenges in manufacturing, energy, cybersecurity and infrastructure.