Exploring 5G Technology: 7 Innovative Use Cases

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The launch of fifth-generation mobile technology (5G) has brought a new era of connectivity that continues to change the way businesses operate and how people live.
The shift from 3G to 4G was about faster connections, that’s not the case with 5G. The latter combines speed with low latency, higher reach, reliability, flexibility, and responsiveness, offering the mix necessary to support mission-critical applications.
Across the world, businesses are positive about the potential of 5G technology. Existing studies show that globally, 80% of companies believe that 5G networks will impact their operations significantly.
In this article, we explore 7 innovative use cases of 5G technology you need to know.

But first, What’s the Difference Between 4G and 5G?

5G technology is the latest wireless network that improves on 4G technology. The main difference between 4G and 5G is in radio frequencies. 4G uses less than 6GHz while 5G uses 30GHz or more. This high radio frequency gives 5G networks higher capacity and faster speeds.
The other major difference between the two networks is in wavelengths. Compared to 4G, 5G technology uses shorter wavelengths. The shorter wavelength means a single 5G base station can hold a big number of directional antennas. This feature alone allows 5G networks to support 1000+ more devices per meter than what 4G can support.

What are 5G Technology Use Cases?

Here are 7 innovative use cases of 5G wireless networks:

1. Industry-based Internet of Things (IIoT)

Manufacturing firms were among the first businesses to implement private 5G networks, and they are reaping huge benefits. With the high cost of machine replacement, industries can’t afford downtimes. Manufacturers use Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to monitor machine performance and get alerts on maintenance issues that may be coming up. IIoT sensors can only work in the presence of wireless connections.
5G technology allows industries to set up the wireless network they need to support these sensors. By offering low latency and high capacity, 5G provides reliable support for thousands of robotic machines and IIoT sensors in highly complex industrial environments. Strategic planning of wireless networks allows industries to ensure that service levels for plants are always met and that machines remain free of dead zones. Other leading industry use cases for 5G technology include performance and product monitoring and connection of legacy machines.

2. Augmented Reality in Sports

Another innovative 5G use case is in the streaming and viewing of sports events. Connectivity has become an integral part of sporting events. Fans not only want to watch sports events, they also want to check video highlights, get details about events, and share content on social media.
4G and Wi-Fi networks don’t have the connectivity capacity to keep densely populated spaces like stadiums connected. The 5G network is changing this experience. With this network, sports event organizers can give fans access to real-time data insights. For instance, fans can watch how fast a player is running by leveraging augmented reality.

3. Supporting Healthcare Operations

Healthcare is another area of 5G-enabled innovation. Hospitals are highly complex spaces featuring numerous machines, applications, patient sensors, and monitoring devices. All these equipment operate in huge spaces. Medical devices must always be secure and accessible. Patient information must also be accessible to the right staff and confidential.
IoT sensors are used to monitor the location and performance of critical IT infrastructure like ventilators, insulin pumps, EKG machines and many others. These sensors ensure proper maintenance and detect repair needs in these equipment. 5G technology provides reliable connection in hospitals to support the running and maintenance of all devices and machines.
Other use cases of 5G wireless communication in the healthcare sector include inventory management, automatic creation of work orders and secure service for patients and staff.

4. Outdoor and Indoor Entertainment

Outdoor venues and theme parks need a reliable network to support the numerous devices deployed to give users and visitors positive entertainment experiences. The speed, wide reach, and reliability of 5G makes it ideal for this purpose.
Since 5G has a huge capacity to support network devices, entertainment companies can place cell towers across parks to keep their staff and visitors connected without overwhelming the network. Other 5G technology applications in the entertainment industry include proactive maintenance of equipment through IoT sensors and providing guests with reliable and secure connections via neutral host services.

5. Shipping and Transport Management

Another innovative 5G technology use case is in shipping and transportation. In the shipping industry, huge warehouses must be connected for managers to have real-time updates. 5G is used to support IoT sensors fitted on shipping containers and pallets to share departure and arrival data automatically. This data helps businesses to track performance and accurately predict arrival times for new shipments .
In public and transport sectors, 5G supports fleet tracking and provides companies with real-time data to help them understand utilization and efficiency of vehicles. Additional 5G use cases in shipping and transportation include inventory management and automated time-stamping on shipments.

6. Driverless Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles rely on data to make changes within very little time. The 5G network can be used to support the operation of remotely operated vehicles by providing real-time data on traffic, weather, and safety updates. Although these cars are not widespread, 5G’s high capacity, ultra-low latency, and wide coverage is increasingly being leveraged to support their functionality by sharing data with each other to reduce congestion, prevent accidents, and improve safety. Increasingly, vehicle manufacturers are updating their patch security, and firmware, and upgrading vehicle features to utilize 5G technology.

7. Building Smart Cities

The concept of smart cities may sound far-fetched, but it’s currently happening. Already, some city governments are leveraging 5G technology to keep tabs on public utilities, give better services, and proactively monitor infrastructure. Innovative 5G use cases in smart cities include monitoring garbage trucks and dumpsters to determine waste levels and identify areas with high accumulation. Other cities use 5G networks to track highway congestion, conduct video surveillance, and provide secure internet for city residents.

Final Thoughts

The 5G mobile network is designed for high-speed transmission, higher network capacity and super-low latency. These features give high potential to support use cases that have not been explored before. From supporting Internet of Things devices in healthcare facilities, industries, and shipping facilities to facilitating real-time data access for autonomous vehicles, 5G is set to change the way businesses operate and how people live.
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