1. Remote operations
5G can enable remote management of physical workplaces and help companies generate data-driven insights that enable greater productivity and enhanced safety. Remote diagnostics will become a reality and help support sustainable industrial functions. Using smart machine vision plus artificial intelligence (AI) for early detection and reporting will become mainstream. Being able to operate remotely will remove geographical barriers and, when combined with edge computing, will enable data processing near-site or on-site. Read more about the factory of the future, enabled by 5G.
2. Connected vehicles
5G has the speed, latency and bandwidth to enable connected vehicles, making transport and travel safer and more efficient. It’s expected that incidents caused by human error will decrease, while transport efficiency can be improved by calculating the most efficient routes available to vehicles. This has big possibilities for the logistics sector and in making supply chains more efficient. It is unlikely that full, end-to-end driverless transport will be available this decade, but part-driverless routes are viable. Rigorous regulations will be necessary to ensure both standards and safety, but the implications for supply chain alone are huge in the face of potential future global disruptive events. 5G will transform the automotive industry and reinvent how we use vehicles. Onboard connectivity will make cars more intelligent, enable remote maintenance, and create new, innovative services.
3. Smart monitoring
Remote asset tracking and monitoring applications have been around for a while, but not in the large-scale numbers 5G could enable. Thanks to 5G’s ultra-reliable, low latency connectivity, connected sensors can be deployed in bigger numbers and feed real-time information back to businesses. Companies can analyze and actuate this data to transform different industrial and production environments, driving greater efficiency, accuracy and safety. Once scaled, it will become more economically viable to track and monitor a wider range of assets in real-time, supported by predictive maintenance that will reduce unexpected downtime. 5G will provide the backbone that will support next-generation asset tracking.
4. Environmental protection
5G will deliver new management techniques, making us better able to monitor, assess and act sustainably. With companies looking for new sustainable business techniques, 5G has the capacity to power 500 times more connected sensors than previously. This can enable companies to monitor energy consumption and waste management at much larger scales than before. 5G can be a powerful ally to companies targeting net-zero futures and making sustainability a business imperative.
5. Autonomous robotics
Already prevalent in industrial and manufacturing environments, with 5G in their corner, robotics will continue to advance. Their ability to leverage cloud analytics and edge computing and be quickly reconfigured to evolving smart factory requirements will make this key to meeting demand changes. 5G will enable new autonomous robotics use cases in ports, offices and other workplaces, performing complex, routine and sometimes hazardous tasks more efficiently. The worldwide 5G-enabled autonomous robotics market is forecast to reach $74 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 10% per year from 2020 to 2030. Smart ports will be powered by 5G, enabling all kinds of new marine use cases and supporting IoT in ports.
6. Experiential living
With more people than ever now learning, gaming, communicating, shopping and working remotely, 5G’s ultra-reliable, low latency connectivity will continue to power new ways of living. Streaming video and virtual reality (VR) are now essential to education and home entertainment, and 5G augmented reality (AR) can now enable new remote working use cases. It can power new remote healthcare use cases. VR and AR are forecast to deliver a $1.5 trillion boost to the global economy by 2030. 5G is about much more than just gigabits – it has the potential to transform every aspect of daily life.
I’ve been writing about technology for around 15 years and today focus mainly on all things telecoms - next generation networks, mobile, cloud computing and plenty more. For Futurity Media I am based in the Asia-Pacific region and keep a close eye on all things tech happening in that exciting part of the world.