5G is the latest generation of mobile technology evolution. Since 2019, 5G has been gaining pace with connections now live in 24 markets. Also, several 5G-enabled smartphones have been launched to help usher in a new digital age.
According to the GSMA, 5G technology will account for about 20% of global connections by 2025, with adoption expected to be particularly strong across developed Asia, North America and Europe.
Among mobile users, awareness and knowledge of 5G are rising as more people are embracing the new reality. However, there is wide variation across the globe in terms of intentions to upgrade to 5G and the willingness to pay more for it.
While the higher data transfer speed is a well-recognised benefit of 5G that is driving the adoption, there are also other improvements and benefits that are widely unpopular. Here are some of them.
Higher data transfer speeds of up to 20Gbps
Most people know that 5G is fast but only a few know just how fast it is. The speed of 5G transmissions can approach 15 or 20 Gbps. Its predecessor 4G, on the other hand, offers just around 100Mbps real-world download speeds.
This allows users to enjoy a higher speed access to files, programs and remote applications. This will significantly intensify the use of the cloud on all devices and reduce dependence on the internal memory as gigabytes of files can be sent in seconds.
From manufacturing to power generation, companies across the world are looking towards digitisation of product assembly and general operations management.
To attain this, 5G infrastructure which provides services like low latency is needed. With 5G technology, the latency will be ten times less than 4G, being able to perform remote actions in real-time.
Latency is the time between when we give a command on our device and when the action occurs.
With low latency and the increase of the sensors, it is possible to control the machinery of an industrial plant, control logistics or remote transport, among other services.
Greater number of connected devices
5G improves mobile service coverage. With the technology, the number of devices that can be connected to a particular network increases greatly. Its distance covered is approximately in the millions per square kilometre.
All connected devices will have real-time connections (information exchange) with each other as the technology boosts instant access to the internet.
The 5G technology allows operators to implement virtual networks (network slicing) and create subnets in order to provide connectivity that is more adjusted to specific needs.
The creation of subnetworks will give specific characteristics to a part of the network, making it programmable. It will also allow you to prioritize connections in cases of emmergencies.
Smart manufacturing is a vertical that benefits immensely from 5G technology. Today, manufacturing companies are becoming smarter through adopting robots, AI, sensors and a range of industrial IoT solutions to automate and monitor production.
To enable these, low-latency connectivity will be required for precision thresholds and real-time analytics, which will likely require 5G
Globally, smart manufacturing IoT connections will grow fourfold between 2019 and 2025 to over 1.3 billion connections
For example, 5G increasingly complements Wi-Fi in factories to promote real-time AI-powered robot collaboration and integration and also Cloud-based wireless robotics.
The ultimate goal for smart manufacturing would be an autonomously controlled factory like the satellite production facility in Florida. 5G can help make that a reality.
5G will be critical to the creation of fully autonomous vehicles. Automakers aim to follow Tesla and Waymo’s steps in the commercial production and bringing of high automation and fully autonomous cars to the roads over the next few years.
However, their rate of progress will depend heavily on AI, to convert real-time recognition of the surrounding environment into actual decisions, and regulation. And also the role of operators in helping cars communicate with their surroundings (C-V2X). This where 5G-V2X plays a key role in supporting autonomous driving as it help reduce the risk of signal loss.
For example, autonomous cars can have real-time connections with sensors placed across a city to facilitate navigation, select prefered routes among other benefits.
Enterprise and consumer IoT
Enterprise IoT creates new business models, which create value by connecting existing and new devices together to establish new business processes, reduce costs, among other benefits.
IoT is the coordination of machines, devices and appliances, which are connected to the internet.
IoT enables this by capitalising on 5G capabilities like high internet speeds, Network slicing, Edge computing and Low-latency services. GSMA forecast that IoT will be an integral part of the 5G era. With the number of global IoT connections doubling to almost 25 billion by 2025, global IoT revenue is also expected to cross the trillion-dollar mark to about $1.1 trillion.
Enterprise IoT connections will overtake consumer in 2024, with total IoT connections reaching almost 25 billion globally
by 2025, up from 12 billion in 2019.
For consumers, the connectivity provided by IoT can enhance the quality of life in areas like energy efficiency, home security, and others. Everyday use cases like smart homes and smart speakers will benefit from 5G technology. GSMA expects consumer IoT connections to almost double to 11.4 billion by 2025
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