5G Possibilities Beyond The Phone -Toward 2030

Looking Toward 2030: 5G Possibilities Beyond The Phone

At the end of the last decade, the number of mobile subscribers worldwide surpassed 5 billion and continued to rise, according to the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA). What does this trajectory and the promise of 5G mean for the next 10 years? We’ll examine mobile technology’s impact in the last decade—and then explore how 5G could transform the way we do business in 2020 and beyond.

CONNECTED CITY


In 2009, 4G LTE launched and started shaping a new era of business innovation. That year, the BlackBerry, with its traditional keyboard, was “the number one selling smartphone brand in North America,” as stated in its maker’s annual report. Soon enough, though, touchscreen phones took over the market. Today, connected mobility via phone and tablet affects almost every aspect of our personal lives and the business landscape. However, when we look back at the 2020 smartphone in a decade, will it look as dated as the turn-of-millennium personal digital assistant (PDA) does today?
In 2010, social networks may have been up and running, but who knew just how much they’d dominate business? Widespread email access and videoconferencing were upending traditional ways of working, offering unprecedented flexibility and efficiency for organizations. And though we already had Amazon in 2010, were we expecting Alexa and other early applications of connected artificial intelligence (AI)?
The many transformations that shaped the last decade hint at exciting possibilities ahead. Key to unlocking opportunities in 2020 and beyond? Next-gen networks. 5G won’t be a phone-centered technology, but will instead be defined by the use cases it makes possible for businesses across industries.
The Automated Factory
5G’s ultra-low latency could bring manufacturers closer to a fully automated factory and fuel huge improvements across safety, productivity, reliability and repeatability. ABI Research forecasts over five million 5G connections in the factory by 2026, and suggests this will decrease cost and improve equipment efficiency overall.
This connectivity on the factory floor involves a massive network of wireless sensors, working to enable functions such as:
  • Remote control
  • Precise monitoring of flow rates and product quality
  • Real-time robotics functions
  • Continuous monitoring of machines to facilitate predictive maintenance and reduce downtimes 
Once goods leave the factory, 5G could be equally useful in managing logistics, inventory tracking, robotic warehouse picking and beyond. This means higher-value products can be tracked and located—with their full history accessible—for every step of their journey from initial assembly to final recycling at end of life.
Immersive Video For Better Business
5G-enabled augmented reality (AR) is expected to add a new dimension to 3D visualization. An architect could take a virtual walkthrough of a building design before constructing it, for example. Videos of real surroundings with holographic simulations of artifacts that exist only digitally, and a variety of other immersive experiences, will help companies imagine, brainstorm, visualize and build better products. 
Recent research from Gartner finds that 46% of polled retailers expect to deploy AR or virtual reality (VR) solutions as early as this year. Companies already piloting AR—including top retailers and a leading e-commerce platform, according to Gartner—may be able to enrich and accelerate their experiences with 5G.
Connected Cities and Mobility
Smart cities and highways could provide precise mapping of road layout, traffic flows and control of public transport routes and signaling—with 5G-enabled big data analytics, edge computing and AI fueling infrastructure. 
As the wireless industry evolves, consider these industry opportunities:
  • New business models like autonomous delivery services
  • More streamlined and efficient citywide logistics
  • Improved monitoring, infrastructure provisioning and maintenance for utility companies
  • More effective management of energy supplies
5G-connected cars, equipped with a growing number of autonomous features to assist the driver, will be able to communicate with sensors and information nodes in smart streets and highways—as well as other road users—enabling smooth operation of the transportation network and enhancing road safety. Gartner predicts that the proportion of cars actively connected to a 5G service could reach 94% by 2028.
Fully autonomous vehicles may take some time, but meanwhile a revolution is taking place in the air. Drones will increasingly be used for everything from inspection and surveillance activities in dangerous or inaccessible areas to delivery of small to medium-sized packages. Drone operation is made easier with low-latency 5G, minimizing delay in communicating both flight control commands and high-resolution video.
Smarter Facilities Management
With 5G, companies will be able to manage buildings remotely and in real time. They could optimize a building’s climate management for energy efficiency, use robot cleaners and incorporate smart sensor networks to sense temperature, humidity, air quality, control lights and security of access to particular areas, for instance. Intelligent buildings will draw on a combination of interdependent technologies including AI, wireless networks, and cloud and edge computing to improve efficiency and provide a safe and productive environment. A Navigant Research report forecasts that annual sales for energy-efficient building technologies—just for healthcare facilities—could reach $6.4 billion by 2027.
5G-Powered Self-Service Economy
Mobile money is an increasingly common way to pay for goods and services. Putting all this together—smart objects, authenticated ID, smart money—is set to power a new self-service economy that could eliminate many traditional sales channels altogether. Eliminating the basic mechanics of selling would potentially free up businesses to concentrate on a more intelligent and responsive relationship with their customers, including more accurately predicting their preferences and proactively developing customized products and services.
Building Trust Through Identity Management
At the heart of innovation will be identity management: ensuring that only the right people can access data from smart city sensors, enter a smart building or ride in an autonomous car. Strong identity management also means all sensors connected to the network are rigorously authenticated and secure. 
While some might argue that 5G complicates security by connecting countless new devices and nodes to the network, it also provides solutions by supporting a blockchain-powered platform to govern identity and ensure authenticity and permissions. For businesses, this points to opportunities to build customer trust—as long as protections are implemented to prevent digital identity theft and ensure that automated decisions are also secure ones.
Explore The Possibilities Today
Although some 5G use cases are already in operation in some cities, factories and workplaces, more widespread business opportunities may feel within reach when 5G connectivity is truly mainstream. While change is gradual, organizations can position themselves for transformation by making moves today: arming themselves with awareness of the discoveries that preview a more intelligent and connected world of business in 2030 and beyond.

0 Comments