While the Internet of Things has been around long enough to have made its way into numerous industries, 5G can unleash its full potential. To function best, IoT requires a flawless internet connection alongside high reliability and low latency. Unfortunately, the predecessors of 5G did not have the capabilities to meet the said requirements. The launch of 5G has changed that. Working together, these technologies enable faster speed, better security, and scalability. In this article, we will dive into 5G’s impact on IoT and discuss key use cases.
5G is a cellular network that offers speeds as high as 20Gbps. For reference, its predecessor 4G wasn’t faster than 26Mbps. In conjunction with significantly lower latency, 5G is a cutting-edge technology that can revolutionize how we communicate and transmit data. So why does the future of the Internet of Things rely on 5G? Two advanced technologies, 5G and IoT, when combined, can bring a plethora of benefits to many businesses.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of devices and sensors that provide real-time data that helps businesses harvest valuable insights. Connected over the internet, devices require a stable and reliable network to function properly. This is why the combination of 5G and IoT makes such a groundbreaking tool for organizations across industries.
While separately these technologies can yield numerous advantages, collectively they constitute an unbeatable business advantage. For example, 5G uses can cover longer distances and penetrate materials like glass and metal which can be highly beneficial in a factory or greenhouse. On top of that, companies can set up a private 5G network, securing themselves from potential hackers. A privately owned network also facilitates more flexibility and control over resource distribution.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has identified three primary application scenarios of 5G IoT that can create opportunities and yield benefits for various industries.
Knowing that 5G is an exponential improvement from its predecessors, let’s explore how exactly it can empower IoT.
5G offers a significantly higher speed of up to 20Gbps which plays a crucial role in IoT functions. IoT systems collect and transmit real-time data and require a stable and fast connection. Dealing with time-sensitive data becomes pointless if your systems cannot handle the traffic. With faster 5G speeds, you can fully take advantage of IoT technology.
Increased speeds and wider coverage allow for a much larger number of concurrent devices. Potentially connecting up to a million devices at the same time, 5G becomes a valuable IoT partner. Especially in a big factory or plant, businesses deal with thousands of machines, tools, and different pieces of equipment. The ability to utilize data from all of them without experiencing latency is a huge advantage.
Another critical perk that the network provides is low latency which is the time between an action being ordered and completed. Without the risk of delay, businesses can safely operate machinery in a remote setting. A prominent use case involves installing IoT sensors inside life jackets. The data transmitted from the jackets allows rescuers to swiftly locate passengers without spending resources on searching large areas and risking people’s lives.
Without the delays and interruptions of 4G and 3G networks, IoT devices can generate enormous volumes of data. Using data analytics applications, businesses are capable of discovering real-time insights that help them make smart decisions. For example, hospital workers can continuously monitor their patients’ vitals to prevent serious damage and avoid further complications.
Another perk of combining 5G and IoT is reducing manual labor through process automation. Companies across industries have to perform various mundane tasks that drain their energy and resources. Delegating routine activities to an automated system will alleviate the burden on your staff as well as eliminate human error.
In the modern customer-centric market, enhancing client experience will make a huge difference for your business reputation and financial prospects. The retail industry takes advantage of IoT capabilities by tracking customer behavior and purchase history. These findings allow them to study their target audience and offer personalized suggestions to improve their shopping experience.
Nowadays, more and more organizations are shifting to remote offices. In this environment, a high-quality internet connection is key. Besides that, businesses can offer Augmented Reality (AR) or Virtual Reality (VR) training sessions to enhance the skill sets of their personnel. For instance, companies can conduct data safety training via VR applications to avoid expenses associated with traveling.
Relying on advanced data analytics tools, companies can forecast future trends and opportunities. Supply chain agencies can leverage these insights to predict prices and availability of various raw materials to preemptively restock.
5G can also enhance the security of your data by offering network slicing. The practice of dividing the network into virtual slices allows for more control over your traffic. Each slice carries a specific function based on speed, latency, and security needs. Basically, traffic cannot move from one slice to another, which creates additional obstacles for hackers. As a result, if a cybercriminal manages to gain access to your network, they won’t be able to move to other slices, which reduces the impact.
Finally, the convergence of 5G and IoT can bring substantial cost reductions. From enabling remote control and saving on travel to extracting meaningful insights, businesses can decrease their expenses. For example, drone-operated deliveries can cut costs on vehicles, gas, and labor. Furthermore, drones can work 24/7 and don’t make mistakes if programmed correctly. As a result, businesses can deliver their goods at any time and error-free, which will improve customer experience.
In this part, let’s take a look at the most ubiquitous 5G IoT use cases across various industries and technologies.
First we will focus on the main industries using IoT to better their operations.
Although IoT is not new to the world of healthcare, the connectivity and speed that 5G offers expand the current opportunities. On top of wearables that allow physicians to monitor their patient’s vitals at all times, 5G IoT makes remote surgeries a possibility. Considering how fast and reliable a 5G connection is, surgeons can remotely operate a robot that performs even the most complex and delicate procedures.
The combination of technologies can also aid in inventory management. Hospital staff can locate critical equipment like crash carts and insulin pumps in minimal time, thus minimizing potential damage. Additionally, the 5G network provides better security to ensure compliance with data protection laws. The low latency of the technology also facilitates higher scalability and guarantees reliable support for a growing number of patients even in crisis.
Referred to as smart farming, the future of agriculture will greatly be shaped by 5G IoT. Farmers can install sensors throughout the entire field, no matter the size, by taking advantage of the massive coverage that 5G offers. The real-time alerts allow workers to know which areas require water or pest management to maximize their harvests. Livestock monitoring also becomes more efficient with the 5G for IoT. You can collect data regarding livestock’s health status and overall condition to ensure cows, sheep, and other animals do not catch any diseases.
5G IoT is capable of preventing workplace injuries and making the environment safer for the staff. Factories can carry numerous risks to employees while IoT can continuously monitor potential threats and alert managers. Additionally, businesses can increase their productivity by collecting and analyzing useful data. Besides that, your equipment will live longer through predictive maintenance. Using IoT and AI, experts can calculate when maintenance should take place to avoid damaging and overworking the machinery.
Logistics organizations can leverage 5G IoT technology to optimize their routes, keep track of each parcel, and automate the warehouse. Smart storages are equipped with sensors that monitor the status of each product as well as the conditions within the warehouse. For example, IoT HVAC monitoring systems enable tracking of temperature, humidity, gas leaks, and other factors to ensure the utmost quality of stored items. As a result, logistics services are delivered faster, cheaper, and with fewer mistakes.
College campuses tend to span across several buildings which makes it more difficult to provide a stable internet connection to everyone. The advanced combination of 5G and IoT can cover the entirety of your premises, regardless of the size. On top of that, 5G increases the safety of the data and reduces the risks of hacker attacks. IoT developments can also aid in management procedures. You can install sensors to capture student attendance and room availability to avoid schedule conflicts.
Parks, stadiums, museums, and other entertainment venues often struggle to provide a reliable and fast internet connection to their visitors. Not only can 5G IoT guarantee that your guests enjoy a stable connection, it can also improve their experience. By measuring the traffic and availability of different rooms and areas, you can allocate resources to increase customer satisfaction. Furthermore, the scalability of 5G for IoT guarantees that your systems can handle as many users as required.
The retail industry can also be one of the most successful 5G IoT use cases. Apart from optimized inventory management and automated storage, store owners can collect user data to improve their experience. For example, IoT sensors will report which products caught clients’ eye the most. Additionally, IoT systems can deliver cashier-free stores that automatically track what visitors want to purchase.
Let’s investigate how 5G IoT can empower existing technologies.
Leveraging 5G IoT, cities across the world can begin their digital transformation. Services like waste management can utilize IoT to monitor how much waste is accumulated and which districts require more resources. Municipalities can also solve traffic issues by tracking highway congestion. Knowing real-time data about current traffic jams, experts can create solutions that will fix the problem.
5G for IoT systems can also aid in lowering crime rates. City-wide surveillance helps law enforcement immediately identify the perpetrator and resolve the situation. The same goes for cybercrime as a more secure 5G network will assist in keeping citizens’ data safe.
Smart traffic systems can minimize car accidents and make cities safer for everyone. IoT sensors can monitor and transmit real-time data concerning traffic, road conditions, weather, and other factors. Paired with driver assistance, these measures can deliver accident-free and safe roads.
5G IoT technology allows for remote operations, which can save money and reduce hazardous situations. Using cameras and sensor data, authorities can swiftly respond to an accident or other potentially dangerous occurrence without leaving the office. For example, they can divert traffic, temporarily change speed limits, and set up warning signals to avoid additional complications on the road.
CCTV or video surveillance is nothing new to the majority of cities in the world. However, current cameras are supported by 3G or 4G networks, which can’t accommodate high-definition video. Oftentimes, such cameras capture static images or take short videos of low quality. 5G IoT-driven CCTV is capable of real-time streaming which provides numerous possibilities. Using these technologies, authorities can continuously monitor the streets to make split-second decisions that will potentially save lives.
Most importantly, 5G for IoT is the driver for data processing and analytics. It’s no secret that generating and analyzing business data will unlock valuable insights that can greatly improve your operations. Using IoT systems, companies can produce increasingly more data than ever. Organizations can track every segment of their business, including machinery, employees’ vitals, battery life, equipment status, environmental conditions, and much more. Coupled with data analytics, these insights can offer endless opportunities to enhance and optimize your business.
While IoT systems simply collect and transmit large amounts of data, AI can recognize patterns to learn from. For example, an AI tool can identify which areas of the city are more accident-prone and even figure out the reason behind it. Offering higher speed and stability, 5G IoT can empower AI systems to be more precise and efficient.
Another excellent example of 5G IoT use cases, VR will greatly benefit from fast response speed and low latency. As a result, businesses can utilize VR systems with high-definition live streaming without heavy hardware. Since data processing and storing take place in the cloud, developers can build advanced VR using mobile app technologies.
The newly unlocked opportunities of 5G IoT are truly endless. Cities will be able to optimize waste management and water consumption, reduce traffic accidents, and minimize crime rates. Faster and more reliable data transfer will aid us in solving environmental crises and reducing pollution. Even on the individual level, 5G IoT can change our everyday lives. For instance, you can charge your car in a smart garage during office hours and request it to pick you up at the end of the day.
Numerous businesses will be capable of utilizing IoT systems to increase efficiency and reduce costs. From gaining meaningful insights to minimizing workplace injuries, 5G IoT is the technology of the future. If you are interested in diving into the subject, consider partaking in the Mobile World Congress that will take place from September 26 to 28 in Las Vegas, US. At the conference, you will meet many experts from all over the world and learn about various IT-related topics. Another reason to attend is networking opportunities that will allow you to expand your contact list and create important business connections.
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to learn directly from experts from companies such as AWS, T-Mobile, Verizon, and many others. NIX will also be speaking at the conference, which will give you a chance to meet us and discuss your projects. We are a software development agency that can assist you in leveraging IoT systems. Our extensive portfolio of IoT success stories is a sign of great expertise and dedication. Get in touch with our experts to learn more about 5G’s impact on IoT and begin your journey toward the future.
With a decade of experience in mobile development, Jane enjoys tackling tech challenges and creates powerful solutions from simple apps to complex IoT systems across multiple industries. She masterfully leads the way inside her team and beyond, acting as a tech advisor.
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