The internet, which was created to provide resilient and interoperable communication across the globe, evolved to transport a vast amount of content with which to enrich our real-life experience. Today, it provides a depth of information and social sophistication that rivals the real world. The Tactile Internet, the next evolutionary step, will enable remote, real-time physical interaction with real and virtual objects, creating a two-way interactive experience in which boundaries between the real world and virtual world will blur. The implications for society and the applications for specific industries—including Industry X.0, banking and finance, and connected driving—are limitless.
This PoV focuses on the technical requirements for the Tactile Internet that will need to be addressed by innovative technologies, first and foremost the deployment of 5G networks. It provides a general overview of key performance indicators (KPIs), application fields and major technical challenges as well as several suggested measures for modifying the network infrastructure and air interface with legacy and future networks. Challenges associated with planning, building and operating the Tactile Internet are also analyzed and addressed. Finally, an analysis of how the Tactile Internet could support future smart city applications shows that, to successfully make such applications a reality, CSPs and municipalities need to act now.