Ripe for disruption: How could 5G transform your industry?


Connectivity, Automotive, IoT, Smart City, Virtual reality, Augmented Reality, 5G

4G you’ve had your day, it’s all about 5G now.

5G promises to strengthen connectivity across networks and as analyst firm Gartner forecasts,20.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide by 2020. This is important for every sector, especially given the amount of data these ‘things’ now generate.

The new technology has a faster data transfer speed of 10Gbps (4G sits at 1Gbps) and lower latency than its predecessors. According to Gartner, 5G is able to deliver a high density of connected endpoints — up to 1 million sensors per square kilometre.

Currently, a 4G connection largely depends on how many other devices are connected in that area, which has a limited capacity, leading to poor signal and connection. You can forget about that with 5G as it has far greater intelligent scalability according to each devices’ data requirements.

5G will also have a higher capacity than 4G, with access to more and higher frequencies, meaning networks will be able to handle many high-demand applications at once. What’s great about 5G is that it means a huge number of industries are ripe for disruption with opportunities around every corner.

Let’s dig into some ways that 5G could transform some of the worlds’ biggest industries…

Education

These days, it’s unlikely you will come across an education institution in the developed world that doesn’t have Wifi, most material in schools, colleges or universities is easily accessible online for free. But what if schools could harness the speed of 5G to take their content and learning experience to the next level?

5G could see tools such as augmented and virtual reality introduced into the learning experience, tools which require a much bigger bandwidth than the capabilities of Wifi technology. We’re talking class trips to the Egyptian pyramids or to the Great Wall of China, all without leaving the classroom. History lessons don’t get much better than that.

AR and VR enhanced educational tools offer huge benefits that trump any traditional teaching methods including cost reduction, lower risks and increased student retention, something very high on any university’s agenda right now.

Healthcare

This deserves a whole blog of its own, but while you’re here, the healthcare system could possibly get the biggest transformation of them all if 5G has anything to do with it. 5G technology will allow your doctor to get critical updates on your condition and deliver effective health care remotely, all in real time. 5G enables remote patient monitoring and includes the patients’ caregivers in communications with the doctor and in the treatment plans as all the information can be stored in one cloud-based platform.

And a great way to achieve this is by using wearable technology.

Wearable technology has been a hot topic for a while now but with the introduction of 5G technology, it’s set to become a sizzler. The internet of medical things ecosystem is made up of clinical wearables and remote sensors connected to monitoring devices. These are essential for doctors who need them to instantly capture patients’ data such as medical activity, vital signs of changes in health and they can also help medical professionals track if patients are taking their medication.

Public Services

As future generations become more and more tech-savvy, local governments can harness the power of 5G to meet their digital demands. The disruptive technology will also be the fuel feeding the development of smart cities as the underlaying base to support all connected devices.

According to a report from mobile network O2, it is forecasted that councils will save £2.8 billion per year by implementing technologies enabled with 5G such as smart lights and connected bins.

5G technology has the capability to streamline council services that will save local governments huge amounts of time and money.

Retail

Since the introduction of 4G 6 years ago, the smartphone now represents nearly half of all ecommerce sales in the UK, thanks to the speed of 4G. 5G provides shoppers with a new kind of connectivity. Imagine the landscape of the retail industry if connection speeds were 10 times faster!

5G technology could open up the door to VR changing rooms and AR experiences in store and even in our own home. What if one day you could use your phone to try on clothes? On an app, pick the piece of clothing you want, hold up your phone to the mirror and using augmented reality, the camera will show you wearing the clothes, without having to actually try it on.

The lower latency that 5G offers could make this a reality for many retailers in the not-too-distant future.

Transportation

Of course, we can’t talk about 5G technology without autonomous vehicles. As 5G technologies become more and more mainstream, cities will gain key insights into their transportation systems.

One of the key areas 5G could enhance is vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, which is crucial when it comes to road safety as we move ever close to driverless cars becoming a reality. To avoid accidents or fatal collisions, it is important that V2V communications take place in real time. Vehicles must transmit high volumes of data between each other without any lags to achieve this level of interconnectivity but with 5G networks’ low latency, this can be made possible.

While vehicles on the road will be connected to each other, 5G could also see them connected to the road itself. With huge amounts of data coming in at record speeds, we could see productivity savings from reduced road congestion thanks to 5G-enabled traffic management and connected route planning apps.

The reality is we don’t know everything that 5G will deliver yet. Because it is set to be such a revolutionary technology, it is likely to be used to create services and applications we haven’t even started to imagine.

What we do know is that 5G brings an entirely new approach to innovation that enables organisations across all sectors to meet their digital ambitions and upgrade their technology experiences.

Posted by Kate Auchterlonie