Though it’s still a little while away, we can’t seem to be able to stop talking or thinking about 5G! Rightly so, because it will change our lives, not just our working, but also our personal lives. Of course, we don’t mean it will cure any health issues, it won’t do the ironing for you or it sadly won’t do all your filing for you, however, what 5G will do is it will open up so many opportunities, especially when it comes IoT.
In short, you inject 5G into the IoT sphere, it will have the ability to change our lives by improving connectivity across the UK, including rural locations.
Will it be available anywhere in the UK?
If your business is set up in the countryside, you probably get frustrated more than you’d like, either because you can’t find any signal on your phone or WiFi at home isn’t strong enough so you can’t check any orders or you have to wait hours until you’ve sent an email with an attachment, just because the connectivity in your area is poor!
There are businesses, just like yours, all over the country that are on the front-line of the 5G experimenting, with various tests to check that the connectivity actually works. Using the latest technology, the main goal at this stage is to accelerate the development of the next generation of our digital infrastructure and pursuing new 5G business opportunities to the front. The great thing is, it’s already being rolled out, a lot of telcos and all of their various vendors, irrelevant of size as well as universities and even some local authorities have started to implement what the future looks like to them. For example, smart farming with drones, using the internet of things (IoT) to improve health care in the home, increasing manufacturing productivity and maximising the benefits of self-driving cars.
Where does IoT fit in?
The plan is that 5G and IoT will work seamlessly alongside, backing each other up and communicating together, which will include all fixed and mobile devices! As mentioned before so we’re seeing more and more implementation of this, take smart cities, for example, it is a hub where all the devices are connected, communicating with each other and sharing unique data and allowing informed decisions to be made. It is anticipated that 5G will provide a platform for interoperable connectivity, giving these devices a fast and reliable means of communicating; this is a key factor in the success of such ventures.
We’re seeing more and more ‘live’ case studies to highlight what our future looks like, take ‘5G Barcelona’ as an example for instants. When looking at the implementation of urban 5G networks and the benefits it can bring to the community and for the economy, which was to help out solutions such as connected transportation, waste and energy management application on a city-wide scale – this has been a hugely successful campaign and the government have been able to save a substantial amount of money.
A connected community software platform will support developers in trying and exploring new 5G applications and services. Real-time information about essential public services in an area including bus, tram and train actual arrival times, parking availability and pre-booking could be made available to mobile and online applications. It could support virtual and augmented reality integrated into local tourist attractions, real-time video medical consultations and remote treatment offered by medical professionals. It will also allow the industry to test different deployment models for 5G infrastructure and trials more generally help inform the development of policy and regulation to support the 5G rollout. The power of 5G and the ability to deliver internet speeds of over a gigabit per second over the air should not be underestimated.
5G is just the beginning!
The rollout of 5G will only be one part of the UK’s broadest vision of world-class connectivity and it will provide a backbone of possibilities, helping to make smart cities, towns and villages a reality. 5G represents a fundamental transformation of the role that mobile technology will play in our society, delivering rich new services in sectors such as finance, transport, retail and health. Early deployments must deliver success at-scale sector-specific solutions that demonstrate commercial viability, through a sustainable business case to justify future investment. This will result in more widespread roll-out delivering the wider benefits the technology can bring. If this can be achieved, the UK will be well placed to take advantage of this step forward and to become a world leader in this field, so watch this space!