Smart Cities, cars, kitchens, locks, clothes … any element that we are accustomed to using in our life is becoming smart. This means that data is being collected and analyzed through internet connectivity and an improved connectivity standard is necessary for these devices to survive and progress.
5G the new era of connectivity
According to the CEO of Qualcomm, Stephen Mollenkopt, 5G will not be just an iteration after 3G or 4G; “5G will have an impact similar to the introduction of electricity or the automobile, which will affect entire economies and benefit entire societies.“
In the same way as 3G marked the beginning of the era of the image, 4G the video, 5G will be the network that supports autonomous cars, connected cities, virtual reality … and, above all, IoT; “a type of network that will support a wide variety of devices with a scale, speed and unprecedented complexity.” In addition, this network will allow new implementations in areas and regions where there is no infrastructure.
With the growth of IoT devices and their needs, it is essential to have an advanced network of connectivity to be able to offer a fast and real-time processing of information.
We have the change just around the corner and there are already pilots under development in different fields. Without going any further, a few days ago the 5G became a reality. Intel introduced its first modem with 5G connectivity, which supports speeds of up to 6 gigabytes per second, something that can be between 3 and 6 times faster than processors with 4G connectivity. The bad news is that the new XMM 8160 (as it has been named) will not reach the iPhone until 2020.
Benefits of 5G
You have probably heard about the low latency, the response time between the click and the playback on your device. This waiting time can last about 20 milliseconds with the current networks. You may think it is a negligible waiting time, but the latency in the networks limits many IoT applications; with 5G, this latency is reduced to only 1 millisecond. This responsiveness can be critical for real-time applications, such as a surgeon controlling a pair of robotic arms in a remote surgery. In addition, 5G allows very low energy consumption, which is key in the IoT world.
5G is a complex union of technological improvements for communications networks, which will help to become the engine of next-generation IoT services. These innovations include:
- advanced modulation schemes for wireless access,
- network slicing capabilities,
- automated network application lifecycle management,
- software-defined networking and network function virtualization, and
- support for cloud-optimized distributed network applications.
According to the Machina Research forecasts “IoT will represent a quarter of the 41 million global 5G connections in 2024”. Approximately ¾ of them will be in the automotive industry. 5G will allow connecting a greater number of devices than a traditional network and will represent an advance to handle equipment used by companies since it is designed to also work with products that do not need a constant connection.
There are sensors that, using 5G, can get to work with the same battery for 10 years and still be able to send data periodically. There are narrow band developments optimized for IoT applications with low data rates. This would give potential to the network with a much lower power consumption and also decrease the voltage in the data transmission.
Although the initial phase of the non-autonomous 5G implementations is focused on the eMBB (improved mobile broadband), what is most exciting is thinking about the 5G in the long term. Massive machine type communications (mMTC), such as solar-powered streetlights or other innovations that improve the city’s infrastructure, and ultra-low reliability and low latency communications (URLLC).
5G will take time to develop, but we have to be prepared for the Internet of Things to be much more efficient with 5G. Anyway, we will have to depend and rely on network providers to ensure that connectivity is effective and safe.
Article written by Ana Rosa González, User Experience Manager at Barbara IoT.
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