The impending adoption of 5G comes at a time when both businesses and consumers are making strides toward greater connectivity. According to a report from the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), 5G will be the lead mobile network technology in the United States by 2025―with 190 million mobile connections accounting for roughly half of the country’s total mobile connections. Once adopted, the low latency and Gigabit speeds of 5G will be instrumental in the further development of the Internet of Things (IoT).
IoT is giving businesses new opportunities for growth, productivity, and innovation through smart systems that react and respond in real time and provide a wealth of actionable performance data. As extensive upgrades to cellular infrastructure progress the U.S. toward 5G leadership, IoT developers will take advantage of 5G’s near-instantaneous machine-to-machine (M2M) communication to enhance their IoT offerings.
The potential use cases for 5G connectivity only will expand as the technology reaches full functionality, and some companies already have imagined revolutionary ways to make use of all that it offers. Below are three use cases that demonstrate 5G’s potential when applied to IoT connectivity.
5G Will Make the Autonomous Vehicle Possible
Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) have proven popular among consumers and have signaled the beginning of the automotive industry’s shift toward autonomous driving. According to a report from Grand View Research, the ADAS global market size was estimated at $14.15 billion USD in 2016, with more than 34% share coming exclusively from U.S. vehicles. ADAS packages that include electronic stability control, lane departure warnings, and adaptive cruise control are becoming standard features on new consumer automobiles. And USA Today reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) policy now requires all new vehicles under 10,000 pounds to come equipped with rearview cameras.
With the coming of 5G, both AT&T and Verizon have pursued partnerships with automakers and telematics companies to gain key roles in the automated vehicle market. 5G’s capacity for higher throughput and lower latency will provide the speed and reliability necessary for effective Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communication. With V2X, a connected car will communicate with other vehicles on the road, as well as with traffic lights and road management systems to “see” road conditions ahead and take actions to safely navigate the roadway. From the number of cars on the road ahead, to traffic congestion levels, or hazards such as construction or accidents, to estimated drive time to a given destination, 5G will deliver a range of data in real time, which both the car and the driver can use to make safer decisions. As a result, costs from accidents are expected to plummet steadily as automated vehicles help to compensate for human error.
5G-Enabled Smart Grids Will Power U.S. Smart Cities
Implementation of smart city technology is gaining momentum in the U.S., and 5G infrastructure will provide greater capacity for IoT-enabled systems to improve efficiency. According to a report from Accenture, telecom operators are expected to invest approximately $275 billion in 5G smart city infrastructure. In the energy sector, for example, smart grid systems bolstered by 5G data streams can assess grid stability, report outages, sense and recover from substation faults, reroute power around problems, and monitor usage to predict energy demand in real time. Smart lighting systems automatically dim public lighting when no pedestrians or vehicles are present in order to save power and reduce light pollution. Artificial intelligence (AI) can use granular energy consumption data provided by 5G IoT and smart grids to implement predictive algorithms that balance grids and assess the reliability of production and consumption figures. Accurate energy forecasting through 5G also will strengthen demand-side flexibility and reduce the need for emergency power purchasing or investments in “peaker” plants, allowing for more effective use of renewable energy sources.
5G Doctors Can Save Lives from Another Continent Using Robotic Surgery
Perhaps the most astounding application of 5G’s low latency capability lies in the medical field. Using augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) technology, companies are developing surgical machines that can accurately mimic the moves of a surgeon. Due to the unacceptable lag time of current 4G connectivity, remote surgery methods are approved only for short distance and low-risk operations. With 5G, however, communication between the specialist’s hands and the arms of a robotic surgical system truly will be instant from anywhere in the world. Remote surgery has the potential to radically improve care in rural areas, third-world countries, or understaffed medical centers.
The advent of 5G coincides with a period of increasing convergence, with IoT and AI solutions offering opportunities for innovation, growth, and productivity improvements. Over the next decade, 5G will be instrumental in the development of these major trends, and Aeris IoT Services will be there to offer a connected solution that’s tailored to your business needs.
To learn more about how our IoT offering can get your business prepared for a connected future, contact Aeris today. Or listen in on our recent 5G webinar where we discuss the expanding role that 5G will play in the very near future.