Mobile networks must meet the emerging demands of services and applications with crucial latency and reliability requirements. Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC) is one of the key services in 5G communications with various applications such as remote control, autonomous driving, and tactile internet.
In general, reliability is defined as the probability that data with a given latency is successfully delivered, and it is critical for safety in many up and coming verticals including Health, Automotive, Industrial, Energy and Entertainment.
Connected industry (industry 4.0) and other sectors such as healthcare or automotive (autonomous vehicles) can generate new opportunities for telecoms operators in value-added applications with low latency and high reliability.
The Tactile Internet (TI) is a promising research topic in the healthcare sector.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) defines the TI as extremely low latency in combination with high availability, reliability and security. It believes TI represents a “revolutionary level of development for society, economics and culture”.
TI is the next evolution that will enable the control of the Internet of Things (IoT) in real time. It also enables humans and machines to interact with their environment, in real time within a certain spatial communication range.
Figure 1. Revolutionary of Tactile Internet
TI will increase the way of our communication in private and business environments and lead to more realistic, social interaction. It will also help novel application fields to contribute to the solution of the complex challenges faced by our society, such as:
Education and Lifelong Learning:
e-Learning, Blended-Learning, Open Online Courses, as well as simulations of movements (e.g. flight simulators) – will be augmented by interactive elements far more advanced than today’s embedded tests. The rapid reaction times of the TI will enable haptic overlay of the teacher and learner which result in novel learning experiences. The teacher will be able to feel the learner’s movement when s/he undertakes a task involving fine motor skills, and correct as necessary. The learner will be able to see, hear and feel the exact movements their trainer has made, be they an engineer, pilot or surgeon.
Better quality care will be possible via the TI during remote diagnosis and treatment, as well as through the combination of experienced surgeons’ tactile sense with the high spatial precision of robot-assisted operations. The physician will be able to command a tele-robot at the patient’s location, allowing remote physical examination with full AV and haptic feedback. Moreover, the support provided to people with disabilities by new artificial limbs and power amplifiers will make better their mobility, ensuring them the ability to lead a self-determined life.
Traffic in a Smart City:
TI will enable co-operative traffic modes, where traffic flow will be optimized by heeding local safety constraints as well as parameters such as the overall traffic density in a Smart City. Guided autonomous driving or platoon driving will allow for a continuous traffic flow in which safety and energy efficiency will be improved as compared to today’s situation.
In decentralized electrical energy generation and distribution networks, the TI enables dynamic activation and deactivation of local power generation and consumption, potentially even taking into account the AC phase information to minimize the generation of unusable reactive power. The Tactile Internet is the technical basis for smart grids, providing for improved energy efficiency and stability in electricity networks
Technologies such as Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) may prove essential in this domain. Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) is a cloud-based IT service environment at the edge of the network which brings real-time, high-bandwidth, low-latency access to radio network information and provides a new ecosystem and value chain. Operators can open their Radio Access Network (RAN) edge to authorized third-parties, allowing them to flexibly and rapidly deploy innovative applications.
Some use cases of MEC as follows:
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): which benefit from fast response times and low latency communications;
Connected cars, which also thrive in high-bandwidth, low-latency, highly available settings;
Other Internet of Things (IoT) applications that rely on high performance and smart utilization of network resources.
In summary, as described in above, new services of mobile ultra-reliable and low latency communications has opened new opportunities for the emerging demands in mobile communications and contributed in new fields and challenges of society.