5G, AI and Internet of Things (IoT) have to be three of the biggest buzz words in tech over the past few years. While 5G has been massively hyped the current reality is a little lacklustre, and do we really need multi-gig speeds to our mobile?
However, it is the long-term prospects of 5G that will affect our lives in almost everything we do, and 5G, Ai and IoT will begin to work cohesively together making our lives easier and more efficient.
One of the significant benefits of 5G in the future will be the ability to free ourselves from wired internet connection, we will no longer need worry about if our house can get Virgin or if it is in a good area for VDSL. You will be able to provide all your data connections via a mobile router. While wired connections will always be popular, mobile options give you far more flexibility and these solutions can be deployed quickly and cheaply.
While most of the 5G talking points are about it speeds, its benefits extend far beyond this, it offers a much lower latency compared to older technology so devices will be able to process data in the cloud in real-time with no lag. Combining the high bandwidth and low latency we are already seeing 5G being used for things like gaming where all the processing power is offloaded to the cloud allowing us to use low cost low powered devices to run games that would otherwise require very expensive hardware.
This concept can be applied to dozens of other scenarios and is also one of the critical components of Cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) where autonomous vehicles share and process vast amounts of data about the environment around them.
The 5G network has allowances to make the most of unused bandwidth for IoT devices that require very low data transmissions. With the 5G network, low powered devices that require occasional low data transmissions will always be able to achieve a connection and be able to do so with minimum power.
The combination of these benefit will allow Massive Internet of Things (MIoT) where everything becomes connected. Current projections expect 11.5 billion connected devices expected to be in our homes, factories, offices, streets and virtually everywhere else by 2021
As 5G becomes mainstream, and the cost of implementing it reduces we will start seeing it implemented exponentially more devices. All the smart devices that now currently require Wi-Fi or other wireless technologies such as Z-Wave or Zigbee will be able to integrate 5G as an alternative, allowing IoT products to be deployed anywhere and everywhere, without the reliance of a hub or a decent Wi-Fi signal. While this will be advantageous for all scenarios, in commercial smart buildings or industrial applications it is essential. In a factory of large office block it is rarely feasible to get a reliable Wi-Fi signal across the entire building however the implementation of 5G will eliminate this need. This concept is already being used in many factories and building with Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) using the LTE network, but the deployment of 5G will allow much more reliable connections and be able to process far more data without the latency that 4G suffers.