5G Technology and IOT

5G and IoT: Increasing Connectivity

Fifth-generation wireless – commonly known as 5G – is accelerating change in the Internet of Things (IoT). 

IoT allows us to connect various devices to the internet. From everyday household objects (cars and kitchen appliances etc.) to industrial tools (smart manufacturing etc.). It is an integral part of daily life today. 

Essentially, 5G technology allows IoT devices to share and receive data faster than ever. It will enable a new generation of use cases in multiple industries, thus making it a hot topic. 

Benefits of 5G

Compared to its predecessors, the latest iteration can support manifold increases in the number of connections. Generally, power consumption will reduce while connection speeds, latency and reliability will improve drastically. 

Firstly, reduced power consumption allows more IoT devices to be deployed and connected. Gradually, 5G IoT devices will become more and more prevalent.

Next, 5G download speeds can reach up to 10,000 megabits per second (Mbps) with higher bandwidth. Comparatively, that is more than 30 times faster than 4G’s maximum speed of 300Mbps. 

Just imagine being able to stream a 1080p Youtube video without buffering. 

Lastly, the lower latency allows us to respond to data more efficiently and effectively. More seamless networks will promote the adoption of applications that use edge computing – computing done near the data source. 

Applications of 5G

Several industries have benefitted from implementing 5G-IoT combinations. 

Most are used for remote, real-time inspection and monitoring as 5G facilitates the transmission of large amounts of visual data. This fuels more reliable, wireless control of IoT devices with sensors, such as robots and other automated devices.

Some industrial applications include the following:

  • Manufacturing
  • AI and AR
  • Buildings and facilities
  • Agriculture
  • Supply chain 

Barriers to adoption

While we predict the 5G IoT market to grow, some barriers may hinder adoption. 

One of the biggest obstacles lies in failing to understand the value of better connectivity. Firms may be unwilling to develop relatively new technology without evident returns on investment. 

Meanwhile, some are simply uncomfortable with the idea of adopting new technology if existing technologies have worked decently well. This phenomenon is a sign of organizational inertia. 

Another obstacle would be interoperability. Any 5G-IoT solution should ensure perfect – or some extent of – interoperability with prevailing technologies and protocols. 

To develop interoperable solutions, organizations need to first believe in the value of increased connectivity. Similar to any R&D process. 

Inevitably, 5G will trigger changes to the IoT. Firms need to consider the impact of 5G on business and how to integrate the technology eventually.

Written by: Shermine Ong

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