5G in our Towns and Cities

5G is an exciting step forward in our technical revolution and introduces three main benefits:

  • bigger channels (to speed up data)
  • lower latency (to be more responsive)
  • the ability to connect a lot more devices at once (for sensors and smart devices)

5G speeds will range from ~50 Mbit/s to over 2 gigabits per second at the start, and are expected to grow to even 100Gbps, 100x faster than 4g. This will have a major benefit on the Towns and Cities due to the growing adoption and reliance on digital technology generally in everyone’s lives.

With the new kind of technology there is great potential, particularly around automation and instant response services that benefit from the rapid data transfer. By exploring some of the potential areas that will benefit from 5G we are able to see that investing in this new technology could result in innovations that bring significant benefit to consumers and the economy.

IoT Adoption:

The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way companies think of data and connectivity. IoT devices generate vast amounts of data that businesses want to analyse, and many businesses are planning to create an entire IoT ecosystem. With the higher data speeds of 5G, enterprises can access that data quicker and in real-time to and allow them to make decisions quickly.

Higher device capacity and spectrum band

More devices can connect at crowded areas such as on match days or concerts at the Riverside Stadium. This could be used to the advantage of the club – they could introduce crowd gamification i.e. a digital real-time events such as raffles or a lottery that helps introduce additional revenue streams for the club. Artists performing at the club could also use this for crowd involvement via mobile devices without the limitations we see on bandwidth today.

Gaming

The UK gaming market is now worth a record £5.7bn, worth more than movies and music combined. Online gaming is a major contributor to the success of the industry and having speeds capable of facilitating playing and creating games for gaming companies which are bandwidth-intensive businesses. With the high bandwidth and low latency it provides, 5G can significantly improve the mobile gaming experience, further improve the quality of games, and boost the development of VR and AR. In addition, 5G will also facilitate the rise of cloud gaming, as it requires a stable network with low latency (less than 70ms).

Remote Working – no slow wifi

High Speed remote working – workers will be able to work comfortably anywhere in a 5G area – good news for coffee shops!

Competitive Socialising

5G will also change how we socialise and interact with cultural experiences in ways unimaginable with previous iterations of network technology. Companies such as Flight Club and Puttshack are leisure businesses built on IoT devices, data and interfaces. With the ability to connect more easily this could see Competitive Socialising becoming more accessible for aspiring leisure businesses.

Reduced infrastructure costs

Traditional networking methods can be costly in many ways. Cabling alone requires an end-to-end point and requires a physical channel in which to be placed. This can have a negative impact on our physical infrastructure in terms of buildings and roads and causes disruption to our day to day lives. 5G could potentially change the way we send and receive internet in our homes and businesses, no longer will roads need to be dug up to allow a business to receive quicker broadband but instead it’s all through the air.

Tactile internet.

The science of emulating the sensation of touch when remotely controlling and
interacting with a connected device. The technology works by transmitting different types of motions to the user. The combination of these capabilities with low latency communications and very high reliability may play a role across a wide range of sectors, including education, healthcare, online shopping and games.

Remote control

Remote control of machines is already taking place but the instant response capabilities of 5G could significantly improve and extend its use. For example, robots and drones might be used more extensively in warehouses or for delivery of online orders. 5G could also allow better control of machinery involved in industrial processes or in dangerous tasks. For instance, we are likely to see a new generation of low-cost machinery, using artificial intelligence, able to collaborate with human workers in a safe and efficient production environment. 5G will also facilitate flexible, smart manufacturing with more autonomous machines, use of data and advanced computing. For instance, a manufacturer using wireless rather than wired solutions for robots and other machinery could benefit from greater flexibility and improved response rate in the production line.

Autonomous vehicles.

While 5G may play some role in facilitating autonomous vehicles, the contribution of other wireless technologies such as radars, sensors, image recognition and vehicle to vehicle communications will also be vital. In addition, innovation in this area will, to a large extent, be a result of new software capabilities – particularly the fast data analysis and autonomous decision-making capabilities of artificial intelligence.

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