5G and the Opportunity for Dedicated Device Fleets

Authored by Vikram Kapoor and Radha Kiwalkar

According to the Cisco Annual Internet Report– 5G connections appeared in 2019 and will grow over 100-fold to 1.4 billion by 2023. 5G connectivity is evolving into a strong contender for mobile connectivity leaders, driven by the growth of mobile IoT (Internet of Things). By 2023, there will be 11% of devices and connections with 5G capability. 

The rise of the mobile workforce accelerated by the pandemic has prompted businesses to adopt mobile devices and automation technologies. The ability to remotely manage and access files and apps is now mission-critical, and the 5G network’s higher speed greatly improves this use case. The rollout of 5G isn’t just another iteration of wireless innovation. It has the potential to join the handful of technologies through history that transform industries across every sector of the economy, elevating living standards and accelerating global economic growth. 

Benefits of 5G Technology Over 4G LTE:

  1. Speed – 5G offers 6x higher peak throughput- 10 Gbps vs. 1.5 Gbps (for 4G). Higher throughput improves augmented reality and video analytic capabilities, multi-GB file transfer, 4K/8K video, multiple camera streaming, etc.
  1. Responsiveness – 4 to 5x improvement: Less than (<) 10 milliseconds latency compared to 40 – 50 milliseconds on 4G LTE. Some applications that benefit from reduced latency and quick responsiveness are tracking goods in warehouses, self-driving vehicles, and computer vision.
  1. Connected devices – Today, wireless networks have a connection density limitation— the more people in one area, the slower the connection. 5G can support up to 100 times more devices, i.e., up to 1M devices/km^2 vs. 10K – 100K devices/km^2 on 4G LTE. This will allow cities to tap into the power of 5G for things like smart streetlights, remote security monitoring, intelligent rail, and smart parking solutions.
  1. Data Volume – 1000x capacity, 10 TB/s/KM^2 for 5G vs 0.01 TB/s/KM^2 for 4G LTE.  This makes a huge difference in the quality of service in crowded environments such as stadiums and airports. A large amount of data is consumed in crowded areas, and all users will experience the fast speeds and low latency of 5G service.
  1. Energy efficiency – 5G consumes 90% less energy. More data could be processed on the cloud instead of the edge device to improve battery life and user experience. For example, advanced AI processing could be offloaded to the cloud to conserve battery life on the edge device.
  1. Spectrum – 5G networks operate on up to three frequency bands – low (< 2 GHz), medium (2-10 GHz), and high frequencies (20-100 GHz), aka the “millimeter-wave” band. Low and medium frequency bands are shared with 4G LTE, but high frequencies were previously unused. Applications of 5G private networks are virtually limitless, e.g., preventive maintenance, meter reading, real-time location tracking, virtual remote assistance, etc.
  1. Network slicing 5G network slicing uses network virtualization to divide single network connections into multiple distinct virtual connections that provide different amounts of resources to different types of traffic depending on the use case. Operators will use these slices to support 5G’s extremely diverse and extreme requirements for bandwidth, throughput, latency, and availability across use cases such as the IoT, smart cities, remote medicine, robotics, and connected cars.
  1. Mobility – 5G is designed to enable devices traveling up to 500km/h vs. 200 km/h for 4G. This enables passengers and devices in fast-moving vehicles and trains to stay connected while they are moving.

5G opens several new opportunities for dedicated device fleets.

Kiosks  

You can install 5G–enabled kiosks anywhere there is a 5G network coverage — allowing you to build and deliver superior engaging multimedia experiences. With the speed, latency, and performance in the cloud that this network offers, you can build robust artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) applications for your device fleet.

The automotive industry is already relying on 5G networks for developing new technology, and in each car is a screen in kiosk mode. Fleets management of autonomous vehicles will gain popularity — relying on 5G-enabled devices provide a crisp picture of the road conditions.

Tele-medicine/Fitness 

5G will have a big impact on the healthcare industry. Also, for the elderly community, it sometimes gets difficult to set up WiFi access points, and 5G-enabled devices can deliver ready-to-use devices with a data stream at an appropriate level for the patient. 

For example, on the battlefield, it’s important to deploy and set up hospitals quickly and faster. With 5Gs advantage of low latency, high frequency, and fast response time, remote surgery and patient monitoring are possible. This will help lower costs associated with the infrastructure and offer more flexibility.

Factory 

Big distribution centers will benefit from the high speed and responsiveness, allowing the organizations to track the movement of goods and information in real-time, improving the customer experience.  With robotic systems, 5G will significantly impact augmented reality in reducing errors and enhancing workforce productivity.

Private network 

Consider a mining site where your only form of telecommunication is a satellite phone or walkie-talkies. It is difficult for the telecom industry to build network infrastructure with high bandwidth at such isolated sites. You can set up a private mobile network for a large group to communicate in such a remote location. With a smaller base station size than 4G networks, setting a private 5G network is more affordable and cost-effective. 

Mobile collaboration/entertainment 

Mobile connectivity with 4G was restricted to tablets and smartphones. 5G opens a wide range of device connectivity (including your broadband connection at home), making the mobile experience comparable to the consumer mobile experience. 

With a minimized lag due to high speed, competitive gaming can gain commerciality. 5G will offer mind-blowing new virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences.

With the notable advantages of greater speed, lower latency, and hence the capacity to remote executions, larger device connections, 5G brings a huge potential for new technology AI/ML applications and digital transformation that will benefit the end-user. Soon 5G will be the network speed used across the board to manage industrial IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Please get in touch with the team and let us help you with device fleet management as we together progress to the world of 5G.  

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