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Exploring the Relationship Between the IoT and 5G

June 09, 2016

Excitement is building around fifth-generation—or 5G— connectivity and the impact that it will have on the Internet of Things (IoT).

5G represents the next generation in telecommunications data transmissions beyond the leading 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard. As of right now, there is no single 5G standard and the 5G ecosystem is still under development. Don’t expect to see widespread 5G rollouts until around 2020, when 5G will start to play a greater role in the emerging IoT landscape. In the meantime, most businesses and consumers will continue to rely on 3G, 4G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi and satellite networks for connectivity.

Right now, in fact, the majority of developing use cases for 5G connectivity are taking place in the connected automobile and video data transmissions markets.

So what, then, is all the fuss about 5G connectivity?

Along with 5G connectivity comes faster data transmission speeds, along with much lower latency. Right now, for instance, the fastest fiber broadband speeds currently being offered in the U.S. are hovering around 1 Gbps. 5G connectivity could enable speeds of up to 10 Gbps.

Samsung recently showcased the power of 5G connectivity at Mobile World Congress when the company demonstrated a 5G-enabled robot arm—measuring at a speed of 0.75 percent latency—that was able to track and catch a moving ball. Interestingly, when the robot was equipped with 4G LTE with 25 milliseconds of latency, it was unable to catch the ball. So as you can see, 5G is critical for enabling certain advanced IoT use cases that require ultra-fast response times.

Here are some use cases that will benefit from the 5G caliber of network speed:

Smart city solutions: Faster and lower-latency data transmissions will allow for real-time communications among connected smart city devices, allowing for more efficient urban environments. For example, traffic control will greatly improve when road conditions can be analyzed in real time by using intelligent IP-enabled cameras.

Businesses will also flourish in smart cities, as 5G connectivity will allow them to not only collect greater amounts of video footage, but also to process the information in real-time. 5G-enabled smart surveillance systems will, therefore, play a big role in helping organizations understand footfall patterns and consumer behaviors. They will also help with crime and accident prevention.

Entertainment: Get ready for a whole new era in gaming and video programming. One technology to get excited about, for instance, is virtual reality (VR). Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t joking when he recently stated that “VR will be a killer application of 5G.” 5G will provide the necessary backbone to enable high-speed, next-generation gaming and video platforms, which will require vast amounts of data and ultra-fast processing speeds.

Advertising: The pace of advertising is speeding up dramatically. In the near future, companies will need to reinvent their marketing strategies to always remain several steps ahead of their customers. Success will require using predictive analytics to create generate campaigns that are in line with the latest consumer trends. Advertisements will be more interactive, too. And using push notifications, companies will be able to send recommendations based on customer locations and consumer purchase patterns. 5G connectivity will allow brands to target consumers faster, and with greater accuracy.

So, while it will still be a few years before we see widespread 5G-enabled wireless networks, start thinking about how you can prepare your brand for this new era of ultra-high-speed communication so that you avoid falling behind the competition.