5G and IoT - Are They Going to be the Real Game-Changer?
The coming together of 5G and IoT will bring every object from the internet to our shelf. As the new generation arrives, things become more comfortable and faster connection comes along.
FREMONT, CA: As the technology is proliferating at a pace never known before, new advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), data processing, and wireless communications are giving rise to a speedier exchange of wireless data. The fourth-generation wireless (4G) has already reached downloading speeds up to 2 Gbps. Imagine the next generation i.e., 5G to increase the performance of devices from 2.4 Gbps topping out at close to 20 Gbps, thus enhancing the performance and potential of newly wired fiber-optic networks.
The hype around 5G and its integration with the Internet of things (IoT) in the near future is growing rampantly. The internet-connected devices are increasing in number rapidly and are predicted to reach 50 billion by 2020. IoT is a system of linked physical objects that can be accessed through the internet. The 'thing' in IoT are the objects with built-in-sensors that have the potential to collect and transfer without any assistance or human intervention.
Machine to machine communication (M2M) plays a significant role in the evolving IoT paradigm in the coming years and decades. The IoT-5G scenario offers sensor-based IoT capabilities to actuators, drones, and of course, robots for distributed coordination and reduced latency authentic execution of tasks at hand.
5G is designed to allow a superior data communication rate between wireless local area networks (WLAN), catch speed up to 1.5 Gbps, and cover up to a reach of 90 meters. A technique called beamforming has made it possible for 5G to cover a large area. In this technique, the wireless routers overlook inefficient paths and deliberately neglect to keep track of it in the routing table.
Apart from the improvement in capacity, speed, and latency, features like network slicing are offered by 5G, which enable mobile operators to develop various virtual networks within one physical 5G network. This capability will allow wireless network connections to assist specific utilization or business cases and can also be sold on an as-a-service basis. For example, a self-driving car will require a network slice that will provide fast, low-latency networks so that the vehicle can navigate in real-time. A home appliance can be linked through a lower-power, slower connection because great performance is not essential. The Internet of Things (IoT) can use safe and secure data connections.
With devices embedded with IoT technology, 5G will connect more devices at increased speeds and situations like lag will become non-existent, leading to better user experience.
A lot of changes will come with the convergence of 5G and IoT. Organizations that are leading the convergence of these technologies into their digital strategies will get the benefit to reap huge profits. There are findings that these technologies become more potent on forming a coherent part of the enterprise's i4.0 investment planning.
The combination of both 5G and IoT offer tremendous advantages to manufacturers. 5G provides an optimal telecommunications platform. IoT adoption is taking place at a faster pace, and many analysts have predicted the doubling of investment in these devices in 5 years or even before that. Manufacturers are impressed by the many benefits IoT offers, like less machine downtime, improved quality of the product, predictive maintenance, and better decision making. Though there are many systems that help the IoT devices to integrate into consolidated platforms, 5G offers many use cases that were earlier very less, because of lower throughput and performance. 5G eliminates issues like vibration, heat, and sound so that wireless technologies can perform better in manufacturing.
Facing challenges of increasing IoT use cases
Some will be benefitted from these two technologies more than others. IoT use cases are incredibly vast, varying from simple ones like fleet tracking systems, to complex like automated public transportation systems. 5G mobile data networks can support up to a million sensors per square kilometer. This level of networking will develop two kinds of demands on the organizations' data architecture that want to improvise their operations, enhance efficiency, and have better customer experience.
First, some data will need a quick response at the edge: This class comprises of deployments for automation and robotics. Second, on meeting a set of conditions, real-time analytics will determine any essential short-term response. A good supply chain example might be involuntarily and proactively contacting a client if there are chances that their order can be delayed. However, at the same time, these data sets are collected and reserved for longer-term analysis.
To deal with this deluge of data, computing models have shifted. Few businesses want to build out and handle their own data center to the required scale; instead, they will depend on public cloud providers and make use of either hybrid or multi-cloud deployments.
What is the potential of 5G, and how IoT will be benefited from it?
The speed of 5G enables the rapid transmission of large amounts of data between linked IoT devices, and powering applications that demand on the spot connections. Suitable for bandwidth-hungry applications, 5G will allow an even broader range of IoT capabilities and, together, IoT and 5G can provide connected applications beyond present day's capacity. We can take examples of advanced artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
With increased speed, another advantage of 5G is lower latency and enhanced reliability. Agenda to have less than one-millisecond latency, 5G will allow mission-critical IoT applications that need maximum responsiveness and authenticity—this can vary from industrial automation through to linked or driverless vehicles and remote healthcare.
However, downloads at super-fast speed and low latency are not crucial for all the IoT applications, and 5G also assists those with high energy efficiency needs and low power consumption, like smart cities. Narrow Band IoT (NB-IoT) and Long Term Evolution for Machines (LTE-M) networks are being used today for this purpose by offering reliable, reasonable prices and pervasive connectivity.
These various factors, along with high connection density of 5G, will enable IoT deployments to enlarge in scope and run with greater efficiency. 5G will increase the flexibility of connections already being offered by present day's cellular networks.
Let's look at a few industries where both these technologies i.e., 5G and IoT, can bring about disruptions.
Self-driving cars: Self-driving cars with in-built sensors generate a huge amount of data, measuring traffic conditions, temperature, weather, GPS location, etc. A lot of energy is consumed in the production and assimilation of such a quantity of data. Such cars are also highly dependent on the real-time transmission of information to offer excellent services. Hence, with low latency and high-speed connectivity, it will be possible for these smart cars to continuously allocate all kinds of data, including time-critical data, on which algorithms can keep track of the car's working condition and improvise future designs.
Healthcare: All sorts of medical devices have now become IoT enabled. The rural areas and other remote places where proper medical facilities are not present will be benefitted from IoT connectivity. With low latency, there is a possibility to provide world-class healthcare services like surgeries.
Smart Cities: 5G will allow broader application in initiatives of the intelligent city right from water and waste management, monitoring of traffic to improved healthcare facilities. Smart cities will be benefitted as more sensors will make their way into city infrastructure. 5G will integrate many intelligent systems, leading to continuous interaction with each other, and encouraging the vision of a truly connected city.
Retail: Better connectivity and a huge number of devices linked to the network will enable retailers to interact with customers faster with upgraded digital signage. Innovative ways of client engagement that incorporate Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality will become popular.