|5G can provide download speeds “up to 2.7 times faster than 4G,” as well as transmit data to and from millions of devices per square kilometer. / Photo by: Alek ready via Shutterstock|
5G (fifth generation) serves as the facade for unlocking the full potential of IoT, according to Ericsson, a telecommunications company. Since 5G is slated for commercial availability around 2020, the industry is currently developing new global products and pre-5G products to benefit other various industries. 5G can provide download speeds “up to 2.7 times faster than 4G,” as well as transmit data to and from millions of devices per square kilometer, explained Randal Kenworthy of American business news magazine Forbes.
These include smartphones, tablets, wearables, medical devices, vehicles, industrial sensors, vehicles, businesses, and governments, providing services and capabilities that were not possible in the past. For Kenworthy, “5G isn’t just a network” as it will become an entire ecosystem of connected smart devices and sensors.
5G Is Not Always About Speed
1G was about voice, while 2G focused on voice and texting. 3G was about voice, texting, and data, but 4G made everything faster. With 5G, everything will be made even faster. In fact, you can download a full-length HD film in seconds. But it is more than just speed. 5G is also about its “unique combination of high-speed connectivity, very low latency, and ubiquitous coverage,” which will help support smart vehicles and transport infrastructure.
Some examples include connected buses, cars, and trucks, where a split second delay could entail either a smooth traffic flow or a 4-way crash at an intersection. Moreover, 5G also enables us to control more devices remotely in applications in industries where “real-time network performance is critical” such as remote surgery and remote controlling of machinery in dangerous environments.
In a survey of more than 650 decision-makers from eight key industries, Ericsson found that 73% of healthcare executives expect that “next-generation mobile networks” like 5G will allow them to create new goods and services to improve the general public’s quality of life.
The manufacturing industry will be able to harness the benefits of 5G and IoT from both a revenue and cost standpoint. In terms of revenue, 5G and IoT will allow manufacturers to produce new products and create services “that were previously unavailable.” For instance, manufacturing products and manufacturing design “could provide enhanced VR capabilities,” thereby leading to more accessory products and services.
On the other hand, 5G and IoT will help smart factories draw insights from sensors that could potentially improve production line efficiency, minimize energy consumption, and “enable critical time-sensitive operational process controls.” In a report commissioned by communications solutions Oracle, 80% of 265 business leaders in 11 countries think that 5G will cut down on costs and generate new revenue streams.
|5G and IoT will allow manufacturers to produce new products and create services “that were previously unavailable.” / Photo by: Travel mania via Shutterstock|
Smart Cities and Connected Vehicles
5G and IoT in smart cities have the potential to enhance the quality of life of citizens. If people live in an IoT-enabled city powered by 5G, sports fans, for instance, could receive a real-time alert on available parking spaces while they are driving to a sold-out game. If a smart city is integrated with video analytics and AI, it could result in adjustments to traffic flows and traffic signals, thereby reducing travel time and congestion.
Reducing the time cars spend idle at red lights could save time, prevent drivers from being frustrated, and enhance safety. Moreover, it could also lower pollution “by reducing peak traffic on roadways.” Speaking of cars, 5G and IoT systems could also change the way we commute and create more safe, efficient, and autonomous vehicles.
Vehicle automation is said to be a “top use case” for the implementation of 5G and IoT, including autonomous vehicles that are capable of guiding themselves. Services based on the collection of real-time and granular data about the vehicle’s health and performance are also part of 5G and IoT’s “top use case.”
Manufacturers, robotics labs, and software companies have been collaborating and competing to release commercially viable self-driving cars in public for years. But 5G also provides new opportunities for developers to launch driving applications that abide by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)’s autonomous driving levels 4 and 5. With 5G, it is possible to remotely control the autonomous vehicle on the road, without any human involvement. Such vehicles could be rented by the owner to ride-sharing services, which could slash the cost of car ownership.
Doctors can leverage 5G to remotely treat patients without the risk of network blackouts, lag, and disconnections. Further, 5G allows health professionals to transport large files such as those generated by PET scanners, to specialists for “ emergency remote consultations.” According to a report by industry analysis firm Market Research Future, the telemedicine industry will face a CAGR of 16.5% from 2017 to 2023, as there is an increased demand for medical services in underserved and rural areas “that may only be possible through 5G and IoT.”
5G and IoT In Progress
5G will evolve businesses and our society as a whole. Hence, it is important for businesses to seize new opportunities. Meanwhile, IoT presents industries and operators with new innovations and services, as well as new methods of engaging with customers. 5G and IoT will be society’s game-changers. These technologies will make our lives more efficient and perhaps, less stressful. As we slowly adopt 5G into IoT networks, we should also not forget the security risks they bring.