My friend: Hi Ibrahim, I have a question for you.
- Me: Please, go ahead.
My friend: I was reading about IoT and surprised to find something is called IIoT, so can you highlight what is IIoT exactly?
- Me: IIoT is an abbreviation for Industrial Internet of Things, it is a subset of IoT (Internet of Things) and IIoT is used to describe the industrial applications related to Industry 4.0, so IIoT is the use of smart sensors and actuators to improve manufacturing and industrial processes by allowing the smart machines to communicate better and deliver important information faster and more accurately. Many industries can utilize the IIoT such as agriculture and farming, manufacturing, healthcare, oil and gas, and the list goes on. So, imagine the effect of IIoT on all the industries and how it can increase the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of many countries consequently, that’s why there is a big focus on IIoT as a subset of IoT.
My friend: But why does the term IIoT appear now?
- Me: Previously, the 4G system was designed for data and voice services mainly, but the 5G technology is designed to include IoT as one of the main use cases in its architecture, also the new high capabilities of the 5G system, such as the high reliability and low latency, enable IIoT to evolve and can be used in many industries. Network deployment of IIoT includes both public network and non-public network (NPN) as for example network slicing can be used in both deployment types to achieve the needed performance of IIoT.
My friend: So, can IIoT appear in Open RAN as well?
- Me: Yes. IIoT optimization is one of the use cases which O-RAN Alliance is focusing on and with the introduction of AI/ML in RIC, we can have better performance than legacy networks. Moreover, one of the benefits of O-RAN architecture for IIoT use case include the ability to use external enrichment information, such as traffic period and duration, provided by MEC server, APPs server, or industrial control platform to SMO. Based on the external service information and RAN information, AI/ML method is introduced to help generating IIoT key techniques strategies to improve performance of the system and users.
My friend: Thank you so much. You made it very clear.
- Me: You are most welcome.
The Healthcare area has not been mentioned.
You provide very good explanations. Thanks for all your explanations and contributions you feely share with this forum.