5G Technology: Ushering in A New Wave of IoT Applications

Berry Mathew

5G Technology: Ushering in A New Wave of IoT Applications

The integrated ecosystem of 5G and IoT synergistically have the capability to transform business fortunes. Take a look at the following numbers, and you will instantly realize the massive potential of integrating 5G technology into IoT devices: 

  • In the near future, a total of 500 billion IoT devices (including sensors, scanners, and medical devices) will integrate with 5G technology.  
  • By the end of 2022, 5G technology will top 1 billion subscribers (and 4.4 billion by 2027), and there will be an unprecedented increase in 5G integration for IoT devices in the next decade. 
  • South East Asia will become one of the fastest-growing hubs of the 5G network and account for 10% of the global subscriber base, catalyzing the faster adoption of 5G in IoT devices. 

Thus, 5G IoT technology is the future- that will be implemented in everything from sensors to artificial intelligence to big-data analysis to enable new applications and services in the manufacturing, energy, transportation, healthcare, and automotive spaces. 

But how is 5G ushering in a new wave of IoT applications? Let’s explore this further.

5G Technology- The Driving Force in the Internet of Things (IoT) Era

The 5G technology, designed to increase speed and reduce data latency, improves the flexibility of wireless communication. The ubiquitous connectivity of 5G networks is leading to the rise of remote-control devices and IoT applications (such as smart vehicles and remote medical care), where real-time network performance is absolutely vital. Moreover, in addition to providing a world-class user experience with non-existent lag, 5G technology provides secured connectivity at low cost and low power consumption, fueling efficient machine-to-machine communication via IoT devices.

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How Will 5G Technology Enable New IoT Use Cases

By tailoring the unique architecture of 5G technology that allows the creation of several virtual networks with dedicated bandwidth for a specific customer, new IoT use cases are possible. 5G network slicing will help to expand IoT applications capabilities, making services delivered using this technology more efficient, cost-effective, and widespread. IoT demands low data latency, high network capacity, security, instant transport of large-scale data, and ultra-reliability- all of which can be delivered using 5G network services. Hence, 5G and IoT are a natural fit that complements each other. This 5G IoT technology pairing can enable multiple new use cases like connected and autonomous vehicles, smart traffic management for handling road congestion, industrial automation, immersive AR/VR gaming applications, remote healthcare, and inventory tracking in the logistics industry. 

In the automotive realm, 5G will play a critical role in developing autonomous vehicles. Almost all cars in the future will have features such as an advanced driver assistance system, automatic brake system, collision avoidance, and lane departure trigger. These new features will facilitate Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) road communication. Vehicles leveraging the power of 5G-enabled IoT applications and services to communicate with other cars on the road, traffic lights, and road management systems will deliver crucial data to the driver regarding the level of congestion ahead, road hazards like accidents or construction, and estimated time of arrival to the destination. 

This sophisticated level of machine-to-machine communication will provide a sea of opportunities for autonomous vehicle operations. In cars with Level 1 or Level 2 automation, in-built IoT functionality will notify drivers to slow down and issue alerts for over speeding. With Level 3 or above automation, the cars will be able to decelerate, operate vital signals, shift lanes, and take other actions that may be necessary to avoid danger. The pairing of 5G and IoT will plummet costs for accidents steadily with automated vehicles that compensate for human error.

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New Possibilities that 5G and Edge Computing Have In-store

A distributed computing framework (like edge computing) brings enterprise applications close to data sources from IoT devices to analyze data locally, provide insights and conduct predictive analysis in real-time to impact business decisions. Edge computing builds localized computing power and processes enterprise data 50% faster than traditional centralized data centers. With the speed of 5G and the processing capacities of edge computing combined, it creates massive potential for IoT applications and services that demand low latency. 

Some of the new possibilities that 5G and edge computing can enable will be manufacturing facilities optimization, telehealth applications for diagnostics, video analytics for surveillance, energy consumption monitoring through real-time sensors, and immersive training for employees at workplaces. These are only a few of the multiple use cases across various industries (and the possibilities are endless!).  

It’s Time for a Holistic 5G and IoT Ecosystem! 

To me, the time has arrived to build an integrated ecosystem of 5G networks and IoT devices and prepare for the future. From sourcing raw materials to manufacturing products to sales, marketing, and actual customer buying, we need to create a holistic 5G IoT technology ecosystem to help industries make giant leaps across the value chain.