5G will unlock a world of benefits to consumers and businesses alike.
But what will 5G enable us to do that we may have otherwise struggled to? Does 5G have any practical benefits or is it just a selling tool for networks?
5G Does actually have a lot of benefits to both businesses and consumers—with more and more applications and everyday tasks relying on a fast, stable internet connection. It is these tasks that 5G will make easier, more efficient and cost-effective.
The 5G rollout has already begun, and networks are offering their 5G services in a select few locations across the UK and worldwide. This rollout enables a more connected world.
Things 5G can do:
1. Fleet management
Businesses are always looking to save money where they can. One great way to do this is to make use of a cloud-based fleet management solution. Fleet management allows your business to see all their vehicles out and about. Using 5G, your fleet could transmit data in real-time to your office or headquarters.
Fleet management is already a very popular solution, using the UK’s network of 4G and LTE service. However, 5G would enable us to transmit even more data about a companies vehicles. For example:
- Fuel levels
- GPS location
- Battery percentage
- Time on road
- Distance covered
A good 5G signal may even enable a live video feed to be transmitted back to company HQ, to ensure driver and vehicle safety and compliance.
2. More IoT-enabled devices.
The IoT, or ‘internet of things’, is becoming increasingly common in everyday life. The IoT is a connected world of devices, each linked to one another using their own internet connection. A large, UK-wide 5G network would enable the internet of things to reach all devices, creating a more connected environment.
Examples of this might be a traffic system that uses IoT enabled cameras and sensors to control the flow of traffic. These IoT devices would communicate quickly and seamlessly on 5G—providing a better experience for drivers.
Another way that 5G might improve the IoT is in emergency situations. For example, a business may have lots of workers on a site, each with an IoT safety device. If something happens, they can activate an emergency SOS that uses 5G’s low-latency to instantly transmit data about their location and status to a manager or emergency team member.
3. Driverless cars
A technology that has long been just a pipe dream is becoming a reality is driverless cars. With the advent of 5G, these cars may be on the roads sooner than we think. Using 5G, a driverless car could have better access to a network of cars and data—enabling faster, real-time decision making on the go.
Using 5G, the car could connect to a worldwide network of information, and the low-latency and reliability of 5G would provide the car with up-to-date information and statistics about its surroundings.
It would also enable better GPS and route planning, with changes in traffic and route details being updated in real-time over the car’s 5G connection.
4. Better mobile browsing
It’s a simple one—your mobile phone will be faster when you browse the internet. Of course, businesses and consumers will both benefit from the increased speeds of 5G, but when out and about and browsing the internet, 5G dramatically decreased load times and connection latency.
It is these speeds that can decrease wait time, and provide you with a better mobile browsing experience. You can watch Netflix on the bus, FaceTime people when you're out and about, and more.
Businesses with remote workers will benefit too. As these workers will have more reliable, faster internet connectivity to send emails and keep the office up to date. They could tether their laptop to their phone and use 5G’s immense speeds to even make video conferences with clients while they’re on the go.
5. Connected cities
Cities could use the IoT and 5G to become a complete, unified environment with devices, sensors and computers that all interact with one another. The concept of a connected or ‘smart’ city is nothing new—but 5G would enable more interconnectivity.
5G Has a better bandwidth than the current 4G network. This means that devices could talk to one another, without hampering mobile browsing speeds or other IoT devices. A city-wide 5G network would enable things like:
- Smart motorways
- Smart lighting
- Remote traffic management
- Automatic irrigation
- Automated rubbish collection
- Emergency service SOS locations
- Weather prediction
- Utilities management
These applications could use a 5G network to provide a reliable, interconnected city of automation and efficiency. Many cities are already rolling out similar programmes as 5G becomes more popular.
6. Replacement for broadband
Above, we talked about the crazy speeds of 5G. This, coupled with the low-latency and the higher bandwidth capacity, may see 5G overtake the conventional ‘fixed line’ broadband. Homes and businesses may choose to take a 5G solution, over a conventional WiFi one.
While fixed line communications aren’t going anywhere any time soon, it may be that some, more mobile businesses, opt for a 5G WiFi solution, rather than a traditional fixed line. It may also be a good solution for homes, where the fixed line contract term is unappealing or they do not have access to a fibre connection.
7. Remote management and diagnostics
Once again, we’re talking about the internet of things. 5G Will enable faster, real-time remote management and diagnostics of devices. IoT enabled devices use machine 2 machine communications to relay information to and from a data centre, where a company can remotely manage and control them.
This is already a common solution that many businesses have in place. But with a 5G connection, it allows businesses to have access to even more real-time data and statistics for better and more accurate diagnosis and management.
A prime example of remote management and control is a solar lighting tower, using the IoT and 4G to transmit data to and from a main office.
8. Better VoIP
Voice over IP, or VoIP as it’s more commonly known, allows you to make and receive calls over your internet connection—rather than a fixed line. VoIP has taken off in recent years, providing businesses with cheaper and higher quality calls as well as removing costly maintenance and system expenses.
Using VoIP on a mobile is reliable, even on 4G. But as 5G begins to rollout, it can provide businesses with a great platform to communicate with when out and about. Using a VoIP mobile app, you can make and receive calls as though you were sat at your desk—all from the palm of your hand.
This mobile VoIP creates a more connected business environment and provides your clients with a better, more seamless customer experience.
9. More remote workers
An increasingly popular trend in businesses at the moment is remote/mobile workers. Workers are no longer confined to just their desks. With more and more businesses moving to a VoIP telephone system, it is no wonder that the ‘traditional’ office environment has been changed.
Remote workers could use 5G to make and receive phone calls, do video chats, conferences and more. They could use their 5G enabled phone as a hotspot, and do their emails and laptop admin from anywhere, with no latency and a very fast internet connection.
10. Connected healthcare
One of the latest global industries is healthcare. It is a multi-billion pound sector, and will no doubt be influenced by 5G. Connected healthcare and clinical systems can create better patient experiences.
5G Connectivity would allow healthcare businesses to provide things like over-the-internet diagnosis, real-time patient management and specialist support if required. A specialist neurosurgeon could asses a patient or surgery in real-time, from their local coffee shop if they have a 5G connection. It would bring the world of healthcare closer together and provide a more seamless experience for patient and doctor.
So there you have it. There’s a list of 10 things that 5G can do. While they’re not exclusively enabled by 5G, they are all influenced by the technology and speeds that 5G would bring to the UK.