Consumers with mobile device technology welcome the rollout of robust 5G networks to take advantage of faster download speeds and increased signal strength. But while we enjoy this speedy new technology to watch non-buffering YouTube videos and zero latency gaming, there are even more critical areas that the upgrade in speed can affect.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to transform the business sector, as many areas use automation for greater control over big data storage and processing. In fact, only three industries account for half of all IoT spending, with 3.16 billion for utilities, 0.7 billion for government, and 1.09 billion for physical security.
Building automation is the fastest-growing use for IoT and this application will continue to grow 42% this year. These smart buildings utilize an interconnected series of sensors that continually monitor energy consumption, HVAC, and security systems. The higher-performing 5G network with greater bandwidth and increased transmission speeds facilitate more efficient communication between monitoring devices.
IoT technology, combined with ultra-fast transmission speeds of 5G is projected to enable $12.3 trillion of global economic output and support 22 million jobs globally. The sectors seen benefiting from IoT include transportation, agriculture, and manufacturing.
Autonomous cars that were once a futuristic dream are becoming a reality thanks to advances in wireless network technology. The upgrade to 5G will further enhance these vehicles’ capabilities as advanced sensors and systems allow greater interconnectivity. Additionally, latency will be almost nonexistent, allowing self-driving vehicles to communicate more efficiently with each other and their environment through more advanced imagers, sensors, and navigational systems.
An example of this technology in action is Daimer’s plan to create an autonomous parking valet system in Stuttgart, Germany. The parking garage monitors vehicles through a network of sensors to guide self-parking vehicles. Tesla is also planning to roll out their own automated parking system that can move cars in the owner’s driveway and in tight spaces.
The current pandemic has resulted in explosive demand for telehealth apps as patients and providers connect virtually to prevent the spread of infection. However, without a reliable network connection, critical communications with health providers can experience latency and disconnects.
Telehealth is even more crucial as the U.S. faces a possible deficit of up to 121,900 physicians by 2032. Telehealth addresses this problem by providing accessibility to more remotely located physicians. This factor is especially significant for patients who are unable to travel to medical facilities for treatment.
With advancements in 5G technology, physicians can deploy remote biomedical sensors for patients to check blood pressure, weight, glucose levels, and other vitals. Additionally, remote communications with clinical peers is more efficient on 5G. Diagnostic information such as scans and lab results are rapidly transmitted on the faster network.
The high capacity of 5G allows the implementation of virtual networks. This network slicing allows cellular providers to deploy virtual network partitions (slices) that offer powerful performance features to serve a specific market or application. This can be highly useful for IoT applications that require stable connectivity for smart metering and remote operations.
Network slicing can significantly assist in telehealth and emergency response situations by avoiding the congestion of peak data traffic periods. By placing these applications on a separated virtual network slice, these lifeline services are granted priority to ensure a flawless, high-performance connection.
The implementation of 5G networks worldwide will drastically improve the way we work and live. The above-described uses demonstrate why 5G will be more of a necessity than a luxury in many areas.
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