Potential Applications Of 5G And Rise Of Internet Of Things

It may not be available until 2020, but there is already a good deal of hype surrounding the upcoming 5G network. Most of us benefit from 4G, which is still in the process of being rolled out worldwide. It allows us to use the array of apps and smartphone features that rely on consistent, high-speed data connections.

When 5G arrives, it will take consumer connectivity a step beyond what we are currently experiencing, while at the same time providing new benefits to a number of different industries. Here is a closer look at how 5G could potentially be used when it finally arrives.

The Progression Of Wireless Networks

Wireless Network

When the original iPhone was released in 2007, it used EDGE data networks. Just a year later, the iPhone 3G allowed consumers to take advantage of new 3G data networks, which provided connection speeds up to seven times faster than the previous generation.

Today’s 4G runs 10 times faster than 3G, but when 5G arrives, it will provide an unprecedented level of both speed and capacity. As more and more smart devices connect to the networks every day, it’s vital for the new 5G network to be able to support them all. The European Commission estimates that 5G will be able to offer 1000 times the capacity of 4G, although standards haven’t been finalized at this time.

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As the concept of the “Internet of Things” (IoT) takes hold, with millions of interconnected, smart devices, today’s 4G networks simply can’t handle the capacity load. However, 5G networks could potentially be able to manage connections for as many as 7 trillion smart, interconnected devices while saving energy in the process.

With the debate about 5G still ongoing, there isn’t a specific definition of what it will specifically entail; all we have is speculation. For the fifth generation of networks to succeed, a high volume of increasingly smaller cells will need to be installed in cities and rural areas across the globe, which requires heavy investment. Alternately, 5G may involve the use of device-to-device connections to cope with increased traffic loads. The major difference between 5G and 3G/4G networks is that it will not only be much faster, but it will allow consistent, ubiquitous connectivity at all times.

Rise Of Internet Of Thing

Internet Of Things
Internet Of Things

Because 5G could allow seamless connectivity between devices, it will help enable what has already been deemed the “Internet of Things”. It will extend beyond mere telecommunications. You will not only be able to experience faster download speeds, but 5G will enable connectivity between machines, people, and objects. This will have an impact on a number of different industries, from healthcare to transportation. The logistics behind smart cities can be improved, so that connected trains and buses can communicate with automobiles for more efficient traffic flow. Smart office buildings can tap into the network to boost energy efficiency, while surgeries could be conducted remotely with the use of intricate sensors.

Applications Of 5G


This demand for increased connectivity is one of the major applications of 5G. It is estimated that by the time it arrives in 2020, in the UK alone each consumer will own 27 different connected devices. This includes not only the smartphones and tablets we already use, but also refrigerators, cars, VR devices, and clothing. For these types of new connected devices to work, they will need to be able to shift data back and forth, which is more than current networks would be able to handle.

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Companies like Nokia Networks are working on a smarter 5G network that is able to adapt to these needs, allocating bandwidth where it is most useful. Small cells will create an invisible, ubiquitous network that can work with these smaller devices. Large cells will still provide broad coverage in cities, but they will have to be supplemented with smaller cells in order to create the 5G network. Global standards will need to be put in place to enable this technology. The spectrum bands to use will be agreed on during the World Radiocommunications Conferences, which will ensure that a 5G device will be able to work on the same spectrum and system in any country you travel to.

Boost To Technology

Along with influencing these various industries, when 5G arrives, it will also change the form and function of our smartphones and tablets. We have already seen some wearable devices, but you can expect these devices to become more common as all objects and appliances are connected to the network. High speed mobile connectivity will involve not only smartphones, but also cars, hospitals, and homes. Smartphones themselves may become more flexible and intriguing to reflect their new capabilities, whether it’s through allowing 3D holograms or virtual reality.

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Overall benefits should include a boost in connection speeds from 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps, with a reduced latency to just under one millisecond. This lower latency is vital for IoT sensors to work properly. At the same time 5G will involve a boost to coverage, particularly in rural areas that are at the moment under-served, and the network will have the ability to optimize its spectrum usage.

The Bottom Line

It is important to bear in mind that there is no set standard for 5G, so it is impossible to know what this will really look like when it arrives. The year 2020 is not a firm deadline, either – it could take longer to see the real applications of this type of high speed network. Yet there is a great deal of potential involved. As demand increases for high speed connectivity, network technology will have to adapt. This could have a wide impact on our lives in the next decade.