IoT Fundamentals, Cellular Connectivities, IoT Solutions

What 5G Means For the Internet of Things

There was a time when everything had its own existence. Many of them still continue to do so, however, if you look around you would find products such as smart toasters, fitness collars, among other things. These are some of the products that are no more having their own separate existence. Rather, they are connected to the web as part of ‘Internet of things’.

So what exactly is the Internet of things or IoT? Well, IoT is a computing concept which describes the idea of everyday objects being connected to the web or internet. The connection may be done through wireless technologies, QR codes, APIs, sensors, among other technologies... The connection helps the objects in talking to each other. For example, earlier, if you had to turn on the light, you had to manually go to the switchboard or use a remote and then turn it on. However, due to the inculcation of IoT, now you could do so by just tapping on the Light Bulb app present in your phone. The reason being both your light bulb and phone are connected to each other through the Internet.

Advantages of IoT

Through connecting these devices with automated systems, it is possible to gather data. This data is helpful in creating actions that help in doing a particular task. There are several other advantages such as-

  •      It would help in creating new business models and sources of revenue. As there are plenty of devices available in our lives, numerous companies, and creative minds can benefit from this.
  •      It would help in achieving operational efficiency as companies would be able to automate their business and manufacturing process. If we apply this concept to industrial sectors it could save significant energy and resources. The efficiency could be enhanced while cutting down the waste generated.
  •      As IoT highly focuses on providing customer-centric services, the customer services quality could be enhanced drastically. For example, if the data and pattern regarding a customer’s product usage are collected and then the products are designed keeping in mind the individual’s requirements, it would lead to higher customer satisfaction.
  •      There are several areas where IoT could bring drastic changes. As already mentioned in the previous point, the manufacturing industry could utilize IoT to prevent equipment failure, improving worker safety, among others. At the same time transportation industry, where people and cargo are moved from one place to another, could also be made better. Furthermore, the automotive industry can utilize IoT to avoid accidents, find parking spots and for bringing self-driven cars in the market.

5G: Introduction and Benefits

Invention and innovation are highly required in the present world. Nowadays we are living such a life which demands progress. From 2G to 3G to 4G which you are most probably using right now, the transformation was quick and much needed.

Now all of us are waiting for 5G as it is believed to be fast, responsive and power efficient. 5G is much more than just fast speed downloads. It is a unique combination of low latency and ubiquitous coverage along with many other things.

5G Is mostly about high speeds, but does IoT need high speeds?

The question above is obvious and comes in our mind. The answer to this question is that while 5G focuses on increased bandwidth and fast speed, they are not necessarily required for IoT. 5G offers 1000x bandwidth per unit area, however, bandwidth per area is not dependent on 5G. The reason is that bandwidth per unit area is dependant on more devices connecting with higher bandwidths for longer durations.

So in turn, it doesn’t have a major role to play, as LTE is already doing a good job in this regard. So instead of focusing on 5G, we could focus on improving the efficiency of already existing LTE. However, for a long-term plan, 5G would be beneficial as it includes the presence of Machine Type Communications (mMTC) and Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLLC).

  •    The reason why the above mentioned two elements are important, it’s because together, they would help in transforming industries with ultra- available, low latency links. Furthermore, the increased speed provided by 5G is of good use too. For example, it would help in augmented and VR as they demand high speed and low latency for immediate interactivity. There are several other areas where the introduction of high speeds would help, such as in the automotive, where earlier a connected car would travel several feet further before applying the brakes as the system was experiencing a 100-millisecond delay. But due to fast speed, this delay could be eliminated.

Are there some IoT use cases that will be enabled by 5G, which are not possible today?

The question is interesting and obvious just like the above-mentioned one. The answer to this question is that there are several use cases that will be enabled by 5G, many of which aren’t possible today. As IoT is just in its inception phase, there is a lot to invent and innovate in this arena. Machina Research has predicted that IoT would account for 1/4th of the total 5G connections in the year 2024. Most of these will be in the automotive industry. Along with that, it would also leave its mark on real-time operations, a device to device safety communication, MTC such as Solar-powered streetlights, among other things.

There are certain challenges in the field of Power automation, electronics recycling, among other things which need to be looking out for. We hope that the experts would focus on this area and make the 5G-IOT ecosystem a beneficial one for the generation.

So it’s evident that 5G would indeed be a great thing to look out for. It would not only expand the features of IoT but also make it more efficient. This is all from our side. We hope you found this article helpful. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more articles.

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About María Hernández

Maria is a maker at heart. With a background in Electrical Engineering, she is constantly learning, sharing, and experimenting with the latest IoT technologies out there. IoT Ambassador @ Ubidots.