It’s time to embrace 5G, not delay it

Written by Kelvin Morgan, Account Manager at Madano

Fifth-generation connections, also known as 5G, are not only set to be the fastest mobile network connection ever, allowing you to download movies in seconds, but it will transform the way we live.

5G will provide faster data speeds, lower latency and will greatly expand capacity across networks, allowing for more devices to run simultaneously. This is a huge benefit to the consumer who might be catching up on their Netflix series whilst commuting. However, the most exciting part is the impact 5G will have on the Internet of Things (IoT).

5G is the enabler for IoT but do consumers and businesses know that? Operators won’t act unless there is demand and so this presents a challenge and an opportunity to tell the story more clearly, and reaffirm the urgency for change and investment in this field. 

The ability to transmit data 10 times faster than current standards and the corresponding increased capacity will allow for so many more everyday devices to be linked to the internet.  This can pave the way for everything to be smart, be it a home, a grid or even a city.

As individuals, we may already be able to turn lights on in different rooms but what about coming home to the heating on at the right temperature, and to a robot who processes measurements from your smartwatch so it can prepare the meals your body requires. This futuristic world is not as far away as you may think but it requires the intensely high degree of connectivity that 5G will provide.

As a society, it will impact how we live together. In Britain, we are not building enough homes. Offsite manufacturing is seen as a potential solution to our problems and with 5G, the process can become streamlined. If interlinked with initiatives such as component tracking, the use of cameras on drones and smart hats, which can all relay information to each other instantaneously, then this will drive down deficiency and increase productivity in the construction industry.

Imagine the roads with smart streetlights that turn on when self-driving cars approach, or where cars communicate with each other so they’re equal distance apart, helping tackle traffic flow and reducing journey times. This interconnectivity of devices will surely bring greater efficiencies in energy usage, leading to a more sustainable world.

Every day there are reports of NHS problems. But instead of visiting a hospital, patients could have virtual appointments with doctors, wherever either party is. Wearables, monitoring devices and sensors can become always connected, allowing for data to be transferred in real time, so health providers can diagnose and prescribe in a more streamlined manner.  

Transport for London recently revealed that 4G coverage might be on the Tubes soon; however rail network connectivity needs to improve before any key routes can operate using 5G. Investment in 4G infrastructure has seen limited improvements to services but with 5G on the horizon and in action at the recent Mobile World Congress, let us hope that this will signal change and engage businesses and government to embrace the technology now.

With increased efficiency and the ability to transmit data much faster, consumers and businesses can use more connected devices as part of the Internet of Things, which will transform the way we live. 5G may not be on shores until 2020, but there is a lot to get excited about in the meantime.

Madano supports technology companies deliver their business objectives in highly competitive and disruptive markets.