How will 5G affect the internet of things?

When it comes to the Internet of Things, there is no more important breakthrough than the advent of 5G.

The IoT has been increasing in uptake over the past few years, with more and more usage. However, the roll-out of the 5G network – which is already underway in major cities around the world – is expected to cause a huge breakthrough.

Today, then, we’re going to take a look at exactly why 5G is expected to have such a huge impact on the internet of things.

First things first, connectivity

The internet of things requires devices that were previously independent to be linked via the web. From fridges to cars to toothbrushes, it’s likely that virtually all home devices will eventually be capable of connecting to the web.

Of course, like all forms of connectivity, these devices will only work as well as the network they’re connected on, as anyone who’s ever struggled with lagging when watching Netflix or YouTube will testify to!

5G is expected to make a huge, exponential leap forward in terms of connectivity and speed. Some estimates have the network being capable of downloading a full movie in 4k definition in the time it takes to read the description!

Anyone with a full house will know that if you have multiple devices connected to your home internet – two adults, two kids, every one of them with an iPad, a smartphone and a smart TV! – the network will inevitably struggle.

Now imagine the kind of power needed to power all of that, plus the fridge, washing machine, coffeemaker, dishwasher, home security system, tumble dryer and central heating, not to mention a car or two. You can probably see why 5G is such a necessity if the internet of things is to reach the mainstream tipping point!

Put simply, 5G isn’t just a ‘part’ of the internet of things – it will be the power behind the throne, so to speak.

The ability of the apps will leap forward

Because a huge majority of apps – both mobile and tablet – rely substantially on a web connection to operate, you can expect a bit leap forward in what they’re capable of, once developers learn how to harness the sheer power of the 5G network.

We’re going to go through a number of different examples in a moment, but suffice to say that the power of 5G will enable hardware devices to achieve multiple in-depth tasks online without any lagging.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the main industries we expect to be heavily impacted by 5G over the first few years:

Smart cars are already one of the leading lights of the internet of things world, so it’s no surprise that they’re expected to benefit heavily from the 5G roll-out.

Cars can already use satellite navigation to plan and track journey routes, of course. (The internet of things has heavily benefitted companies like Uber, with drivers no longer having to take years learning routes inside out within their chosen city.)

However, imagine this: rather than simply mapping routes, your 5G connection will enable your car to connect to the entire city. You’ll be able to connect with pedestrians and other cars to avoid busier routes, you’ll be able to see where any roadworks or hold-ups are, too. It’s also likely that you’ll be able to check for parking spaces while en-route, rather than simply having to drive around to find one!

Healthcare is another industry that’s expected to have huge breakthroughs as a result of 5G technology combined with the internet of things.

In hospitals especially, there are already hundreds of devices requiring connection with others, from heart-rate trackers to blood sugar. The more effectively these devices can communicate with each other and – importantly- the medical staff, the better.

Another potentially exciting breakthrough is that high-definition video will be a standard in hospitals – doctors and even surgeons will be able to carry out procedures while being monitored by relevant colleagues.

The healthcare industry isn’t alone in increasing the number of devices that can be connected, too. Mobile robots and electronic surgical-assistants are already being used in some hospitals – indeed, it’s expected that the medical robot market alone could end up reaching $17 billion by 2023!

Interestingly, even exoskeletons could end up being ‘connected’ in order to improve patient outcomes.

The interesting thing about all of these industries is that 5G is so exciting, that there will almost certainly be breakthroughs we simply can’t predict. After all, who knew that the satellite navigation technology linked with smartphones would change the way we use taxis?

The industrial and manufacturing sector is another key candidate for extensive IoT rollout when the 5G network reaches mainstream use. The ability to connect devices at all stages of the supply chain – from the manufacturer to the logistics through to the warehouses and eventually the customer will lead to huge improvements and optimization. Put simply, businesses will be able to both cut down substantially on their costs and offer a better service to customers at the same time.

Augmented and virtual reality is another key sector, unsurprisingly. High speed internet has always played a part in the world of VR, and this will continue.

Of course, VR and HR are very relevant to the world of video games and entertainment. However, VR and augmented reality can also apply to all of the sectors we’ve already mentioned.

Put simply, from retail to the automotive sector to construction, the ability to analyze processes in a virtual reality capacity can be huge for businesses looking to improve their work and to cut down on costly mistakes.

Which other industries are likely to benefit?

Interestingly, a number of other sectors are set to benefit hugely from the rollout of 5G and the IoT. Not because they use the technology – though they certainly will – but because they’ll be behind the manufacturing of the hardware and software itself.

Device manufacturers are likely to see huge increases in demand if they specialize in sensor-laden appliances. Companies will be required to build the tech itself!

Network and service providers have profited hugely since the rollout of broadband and fiber-optic, but they can expect another huge jump forward as 5G takes off.

Semiconductor manufacturers, finally, will have a huge amount of supply to meet. Whether it’s the Wi-Fi and cellular chips, the flash memory or the processors themselves, these manufacturers will likely experience huge growth going forward.

One thing is for certain – as with all huge technology breakthroughs, there will be some companies that get in early and take full advantage, positioning themselves as true leaders in the market.

Get in touch today

If you want the chance to position your company at the forefront of the internet of things, and to take advantage of the technology before your competitors catch on, act quickly.

Whether it’s in the home, in the office or in the city’s infrastructure itself, the advent of 5G is set to see the market of the internet of things absolutely explode in size over the next few years.

If you’d like to find out more about how the roll-out of 5G is set to affect the internet of things, and how you can start using this revolutionary technology to expand your business over the next few years, please do get in touch. We’d love to help you.

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