Fifth generation wireless networks, otherwise known as 5G networks, are the latest iteration of wireless cellular technology aiming to bring greater speeds, reliability, security, and connectivity to wireless networks. 5G technologies are some of the most exciting currently being developed, largely due to their potential to further drive and advance what is being dubbed as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In this three-part series of articles focusing on 5G, we’ll be looking at how 5G will improve wireless networks, how it could very well become essential for both public and emergency services and its role in potentially bringing about a second IoT explosion.
As 5G networks develop and mature, their use in a variety of different industry sectors will undoubtedly expand our existing repertoire of connected devices and systems, as well as infrastructure, offices and warehouses, and even homes. Today, wireless communications networks enable a multitude of Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices which themselves are becoming ever more integrated with each other.
At the point in which next generation network services such as 5G begin to get rolled out by service providers, the possibility of a second influx of Internet of Things devices and connections becomes increasingly likely and, perhaps, even inevitable.
In this, the third and final part of our three-part series on 5G, we’ll be taking a look at how the introduction of 5G communications networks into industrial, commercial, and public infrastructure environments could become the catalyst for a second IoT explosion.
Five Reasons 5G Might Be the Catalyst for a Second IoT Explosion
There are several reasons as to why 5G networks could cause another surge in the development of innovative new IoT technologies. From enhancing existing networks and technologies to enabling new, intelligent, and automated solutions, the potential for 5G networks to transform an already fast-moving landscape is there to see.
Here is our list of five reasons why 5G could bring about a second Internet of Things explosion.
1) Enhanced Networks
With existing networks, there are several challenges that service providers need to face. Latency, coverage, heavy data traffic, and slow connection speeds are but a few of the obstacles operators face today. With 5G however, these challenges can be addressed so as to allow room for new developments within the IoT sphere.
With companies such as Nokia predicting speeds of up to 10 Gbps, and others looking at significantly expanding their areas of coverage, 5G communications networks could provide the network resources needed to enable a much larger number of connected devices as well as being capable enough to handle various different aspects of data processing, analysis, and storage.
2) Wearable Technologies
Wearable technologies have become one of the many “new norms” since the initial beginnings of the Internet of Things and there is now a huge market for various different types of wearable technologies. These wearable technologies have to overcome many of the same challenges as existing communications networks and their growth has been somewhat stunted in some industries and sectors.
Healthcare is one example of where wearable technologies have seen much innovation and development and various applications for them exist. This growth is likely to be further stimulated by the introduction of next generation wireless communications networks and could also play a part in helping to expand IoT services and wearable devices in other industries and sectors.
3) Safety, Emergency, and Disaster Relief
Communications networks for emergency services and disaster relief teams are considered critical infrastructure due to their being essential to the safety of both the general public and emergency service and disaster relief personnel.
In part two of this series, we looked at how 5G networks will likely become essential to public and emergency services and covered in detail how next-gen 5G networks could enhance these sectors.
IoT technologies such as ITS prioritization and network slicing, and even medical delivery drones could become the next “new norms” after a second IoT explosion. Not only this, but technologies such as high-definition video communication, computed tomography (CT), and X-ray scans could be introduced into emergency vehicles so as to enable first responders and paramedics to be able to diagnose certain ailments on-scene and provide as much information as possible to the medical team awaiting their arrival.
4) Big Data
The use of data is one of the things that fueled the initial growth of the internet of things and the vast amount of it that IoT devices generate, collect and process is one of the things that is continuing its expansion into the future. However, the use of data could also be one of the ways in which 5G networks set off another wave of new IoT developments and advances.
5G-powered sensors will be capable of communicating in real-time anywhere on the globe, while also continuously gathering and helping to process it. In manufacturing, for example, real-time communications between such devices will enable a sensor on side of the planet to alert headquarters on the other about a certain deviation or error.
5) Connected Infrastructure
With the introduction of next-generation wireless communications networks, it won’t just be industrial and commercial operations that benefit. Residential applications for the Internet of Things are currently available and smart homes and cities are in the process of being integrated and built.
However, with increased connection speeds, expanded areas of cover and more niche applications being developed, the process of developing smart homes and cities could contribute to a second IoT explosion when coupled with the capabilities of 5G networks.
As the Fourth Industrial Revolution continues to roll on into the future, 5G and the Internet of Things will no doubt become essential to each other, however, with the introduction of significantly more capable networks, the degree to which the Internet of Things will be impacted is yet to be seen.