As the newest communication standard to emerge onto the market, 5G is poised to change technology and industry through its higher data-transfer rates and increased versatility. Experts expect the combination of 5G with the emerging IoT to launch a new industrial revolution through new capabilities for manufacturers, as well as start a new wave of consumer products and medical technology.
Advantages of 5G
5G offers faster speeds, lower latency, and higher bandwidth compared to 4G. Experts expect 5G speeds to reach 10Gps, an enormous speed increase compared to 4G. Latency speeds will be so fast they will outpace human visual processing, allowing for the remote usage of devices in near real-time with human reaction time being the limiting factor. This capability combined with the increasing IoT will allow for new applications with better machine-to-machine communication.
The increase in capacity from 5G combined with the IoT will also allow companies to maximize process efficiency. These technologies can create a network where hundreds or thousands of sensors and devices seamlessly communicate to improve processes and allow for more in-depth analysis and process optimization.
5G in Industry
In the modern business climate, manufacturers are under many different pressures to increase profitability and efficiency. This has manifested in robotic and digital advancements and constant process innovations to drive efficiency. 5G presents a new opportunity to build smarter, more efficient factories and assembly lines as well as take more advantage of tools such as AI, the IoT, artificial intelligence, and automation.
5G and the IoT will allow manufacturers to connect data to physical processes at a scale that has not been possible before allowing for more data collection to better enable process optimization. According to an Ericcson study, applying these technologies through industry digitization represents an expected $113 billion market by 2026 with energy and utilities and manufacturing being the most significantly impacted sectors. This digitalization will not only impact the efficiency of industrial systems through automation but will also help in their planning and design through more effective process simulation.
5G in Consumer Technology
5G is also expected to have a significant impact on the consumer marketplace with experts outlining mobile devices, gaming, wireless access, and increasingly immersive user experiences as the main benefits.
The obvious initial impact for consumers will be 5G phones, though 5G phone implementation is currently limited. As 5G cellphone technology becomes more adopted, industry leaders expect to see the technology spread more quickly to other market segments. In the United States, all 5 of the major wireless service providers now provide some sort of 5G option, but for 5G to truly penetrate the cellphone market, cell phone manufacturers will need to create a more affordable option for consumers.
Consumers can expect increased personal computing speeds, recent 5G compatible devices from companies like Lenovo have been stated to have connection speeds up to 5x faster than 4G connections. With this increased speed, tech manufacturers expect to see the market for mobile-connected laptops and tablets expand. This will also lead to less need for insecure public wifi networks.
The application of 5G is also expected to expand the use of augmented and virtual reality applications. VR gaming has long been popular but the technology has had difficulty being fully fleshed out. The faster response times of 5G can provide a better experience for VR users by reducing lag and boosting image resolution. Some companies are also investing in the use of AR and VR for training purposes.
5G in Medical Technology
Another exciting impact of 5G and the IoT is in the realm of medical technology and telemedicine with experts highlighting the potential for preventative and therapeutic applications. Galen data notes the possibility for more accurate remote diagnosis using this technology without the typical wait times typically seen currently from labs.
One of the benefits of 5G that some companies are excited for is the better access to services it will provide for rural communities. The growth of 5G networks will allow rural communities to access telemedicine services with specialists they may have otherwise previously been unable to reach. Remote monitoring technology and robotic imaging advancements empowered with 5G will allow these doctors to provide more accurate diagnoses and better treat their patients.
The near-instant response times of 5G-enabled platforms will also allow for remote robotic surgery. In the past, the use of remote technologies for surgery has mainly been used for doctors to send and receive advice from other doctors, but the near-instant response time of 5G means that a surgeon could perform surgery from a remote location through the use of a 5G enabled robotic arm to imitate the surgeon’s movements. This means that specialists across the globe will be able to perform life-saving surgery from a remote location nowhere near the patient in the future. This process is being developed with some trials showing promising results.
With the power of 5G, the upcoming new industrial revolution promises to optimize every market segment it touches. This technology will bring a broad range of benefits generating new economic value. Whether on the industrial or consumer end, experts agree that 5G will be one of the most impactful technological developments in recent history.
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