Published: Feb 07, 2023
5G Applications: Future is Now
5G continues to break barriers as the 5th generation of mobile network technology. It promises to revolutionise the way people communicate and interact with technology.
For consumers, 5G means faster downloads, smoother streaming, and more reliable connections. It can even support new technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality. Businesses could benefit from more efficient operations and improved customer engagement. Plus, 5G could unlock new capabilities for connected sensors, autonomous vehicles, and other applications that require extremely low latency and high data throughput. In short, 5G promises to offer a new level of network connectivity and enable a connected world like never before.
As 5G has a lot to offer, let's look deeper into its use cases, applications and three essential components: Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC), Massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC) and Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB).
What is 5G?
5G is the successor of the widely-used wireless 4G LTE network technology. While 4G LTE introduced faster download rates, cloud services and as-a-service applications, 5G applications will enable novel technologies and use cases such as autonomous vehicles, smart retail, smart estates, immersive experiences, and augmented reality.
5G connectivity also provides higher-resolution UHD video streaming services and lower latency on internet-connected devices like smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches and for tools like virtual reality headsets, car infotainment systems, and smart home appliances.
The 5G triangle depicts 5 G's three fundamental performance enhancements: Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC), Massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC), and Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB). These three significant components make 5G technology an exciting and innovative step forward in wireless communication.
Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC)
Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC) promises low latency and ultra-high reliability. This feature of 5G can provide latency as low as one millisecond and extremely high reliability of up to 99.999%, even in challenging environments with limited bandwidth and fading signal. It can enable mission-critical applications such as industrial automation, autonomous driving, robotics and remote surgery. A single delay or disconnection could have severe consequences - in some cases, it could determine life or death. URLLC also enhances entertainment, enabling low-latency applications such as remote gaming, virtual reality and augmented reality.
Massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC)
Massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC) enable the connection of large numbers of low-power Internet of Things (IoT) devices. It allows efficient, multi-way communication between these devices and their central server.
The application areas for mMTC are where connected IoT devices can manage traffic, monitor energy, and track assets. mMTC technology enables a wide range of services from the IoT ecosystem, including remote device control, real-time data gathering and analytics, and predictive maintenance.
Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB)
Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) provides faster speeds, higher capacity and improved quality of service compared to traditional 3G or 4G networks. It uses multiple radio access technologies such as 5G New Radio (NR), LTE Advanced Pro and Wi-Fi 6 to send and receive data more quickly and efficiently. 5G users enjoy a consistent, high-speed experience at home and on the go.
Additionally, eMBB seeks to provide improved coverage and capacity in congested areas such as dense urban areas or stadiums. With enhanced speeds and quality of service, users can enjoy applications that require large amounts of data, such as video streaming, virtual reality and augmented reality. eMBB can also help reduce latency for applications that require fast response times, like gaming or connected cars. With eMBB, users can experience new types of services without sacrificing the quality of their connection.
5G Use Cases and Industry Applications
5G technology can help organisations become more efficient and effective, more accurate and faster in decision-making, and improve scalability and reliability in the data processing.
5G use cases can be for many industries, including manufacturing, retail and entertainment, and smart cities. It has the potential to revolutionise industries by providing organisations with greater flexibility and capabilities than ever before.
The manufacturing industry can benefit most from introducing 5G technology. With its ultra-low latency and high data transfer speeds, manufacturing plants can use 5G to improve safety, reduce downtime, and increase overall efficiency.
The development of 5G-driven smart factories is critical in making the manufacturing sector more competitive. With the increased speed and reliability of 5G, companies can use these networks to connect equipment in their factories with each other and their customers. It creates a more efficient workflow and allows manufacturers to respond to customer needs faster.
Quality Assurance & Safety using Video Analytics
In manufacturing, video analytics is for quality assurance, security & safety surveillance, access management and logistics management. Video analytics becomes even more powerful with 5G, enabling a higher data transfer rate from cameras to the cloud and much lower latency to allow effective real-time analysis. Thus, abnormalities such as lack of safety equipment or damaged goods can be identified much quicker, allowing manufacturers to make immediate adjustments or take corrective action before causing any harm. As such, manufacturing companies ensure that their production lines are safe and their products meet the highest standard of quality.
Predictive maintenance enables monitoring the equipment's condition and performance to determine when it may require maintenance. IoT sensors connected to a 5G network allow operators to monitor machine parameters in real-time by tracking data points such as temperature, vibration and pressure. This data can forecast preventive maintenance requirements — saving companies time and money by eliminating the need for traditional wear and tear checks. With 5G enabling better predictive maintenance, manufacturing companies can thus expect more efficient & reliable machines as there is the prevention of unexpected downtime & production disruption.
Robotic Process Automation
Robotic process automation (RPA) uses software robots to automate business processes. This technology can be used in manufacturing to help streamline complicated, labour-intensive tasks and to increase production efficiency. With 5G networks supporting faster and more reliable data transfer capabilities, manufacturers can deploy RPA with greater accuracy and precision and at a much quicker rate. This technology can automate mundane tasks such as inventory, finance and accounting and invoicing, freeing personnel to focus on more creative projects requiring human thinking. Additionally, RPA can handle larger amounts of data than humans can do manually, increasing manufacturing efficiency.
Retail and Entertainment
5G technology has the potential to revolutionise the retail and entertainment industries. By introducing faster data transfer speeds and lower latency, 5G can help businesses provide a better customer experience.
5G technology can also create immersive entertainment experiences by connecting multiple devices in real-time. It could allow for more interactive gaming and virtual reality applications that provide a truly engaging experience for customers. 5G also will enable retailers to use location-based services to better target customers with personalised messages, discounts, and promotions.
Finally, with 5G being more energy-efficient, businesses can reduce their energy costs while still providing better customer experiences. In short, 5G technology offers a wide range of opportunities to improve retail and entertainment industries by enhancing customer experience, creating immersive experiences, and reducing operational costs.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are emerging technologies that have the potential to revolutionise the retail and entertainment industries. AR/VR can create more engaging, immersive experiences by allowing customers to interact with products in new and exciting ways. For example, retailers can use AR/VR technology to provide customers with a more interactive shopping experience by allowing them to try on products such as clothing and jewellery virtually. It would let customers see how items look on them without trying them on in the store.
AR/VR can create engaging virtual experiences for visitors in the entertainment industry, such as virtual roller coasters or virtual concerts. 5G technology can enable these experiences by providing the speed and low latency needed to support multiple devices simultaneously in real-time. Additionally, 5G will make it easier for visitors to access content without downloading, further increasing the efficiency of the experience.
The cloud gaming industry is one of the most exciting areas of 5G technology due to its potential for seamless streaming and ultra-low latency. 5G cloud gaming can take advantage of cloud computing, virtualisation, and 5 G's wide area network (WAN) technologies to enable real-time video game streaming with high performance.
In the retail and entertainment industry, cloud gaming can allow gamers to play their favourite games without worrying about lag or long download times. It could revolutionise how people purchase and access digital content in retail stores, providing shoppers with a much more engaging experience. It also has potential applications in physical venues such as arcades or theme parks, where visitors can access cloud gaming experiences.
Cloud gaming could also be for remote entertainment, such as sporting events or interactive real-time events with friends and family. The possibilities are endless, and 5G technology will open up new realms of cloud gaming experiences soon.
Retail Video Analytics
Retail video analytics is a technology that uses cameras and artificial intelligence to analyse customer behaviour in retail stores and other locations. It can study customers' interactions with products, detect faces, identify trends, track movement, measure wait times, and more. This technology can provide businesses with valuable insights into the retail and entertainment industries that can improve customer experience, optimise store layouts and operations, and develop more effective marketing strategies.
For example, in the retail industry, video analytics can help retailers understand which products customers are interested in by tracking their interactions with them. It can also detect customer faces to personalise offers and promotions based on gender, age, and other demographic features. In the entertainment industry, it can measure wait times, identify popular attractions, optimise staffing levels and more. By leveraging video analytics technology in both industries, businesses can gain valuable insights that can help them tailor their offerings and operations accordingly.
Autonomous stores are a type of technology that uses robots and artificial intelligence to automate stocking shelves, managing customers, and completing other tasks in retail stores and entertainment venues. This technology can provide customers with a more efficient shopping experience in the retail industry by reducing queue lengths and eliminating the need for manual labour. Additionally, it can help retailers better manage their inventory and keep shelves stocked more quickly and efficiently.
Autonomous stores can provide customers with a greater variety of services and offerings in the entertainment industry. For example, they can automate ticketing processes, stock concession stands with food and beverages, or provide customer assistance for guests. Autonomous stores can also offer personalised customer experiences, such as automatically recognising customers and providing them with tailored offers.
The introduction of 5G technology to smart cities has brought about myriad benefits, from reducing energy consumption to increasing data security.
5G networks will allow cities to collect large amounts of data from each individual connected device better to manage resources such as energy usage or traffic patterns. It could result in lower costs for consumers as they no longer have to pay large amounts for data plans, and also improve the quality of life for residents by reducing traffic jams or helping them find parking spots through parking sensors.
Inside these progressive cities, you can build real-time sensors that monitor traffic conditions and public safety issues, so city officials can make informed decisions about improving roadways or responding to emergencies. The faster speeds enabled by 5G networks allow for more extensive data exchanges between IoT devices, allowing to build of a more excellent range of applications on top of them.
Autonomous vehicles are a type of technology that uses sensors, cameras, and artificial intelligence to navigate roadways and highways without human intervention. 5G technology will allow these vehicles to communicate with one another quickly and reliably, resulting in increased safety on roadways by reducing the risk of accidents due to miscommunication between autonomous vehicles.
In smart cities, 5G networks can enable autonomous vehicles to be more efficient in their navigation by quickly relaying traffic conditions and other data between them. This information can optimise the vehicle's route, allowing it to reach its destination faster with fewer deviations or delays.
Also, 5G networks will allow for improved communication between autonomous vehicles and city infrastructure, such as traffic lights or street signs, allowing the cars to navigate their environment better.
Security and Surveillance Technologies
The introduction of 5G networks to smart cities has allowed for increased security and surveillance technologies, such as facial recognition systems, license plate readers, and other forms of monitoring. By leveraging the speed and reliability of 5G networks, these technologies can quickly process large amounts of data to detect potential threats or criminals accurately. Additionally, this data can create detailed analysis and reports on the effectiveness of security measures, allowing cities to make better decisions regarding their approach to public safety.
Finally, 5G networks can also enable real-time video surveillance systems, such as those used by law enforcement or traffic monitoring cameras. Collecting data from connected devices and analysing it in real time, these surveillance systems can quickly identify any potential threat or criminal activity in a given area. This data can make authorities swiftly respond to incidents and protect the public from harm.
The Future is Now with 5G
With the introduction of 5G, companies like NCS can offer their customers a more robust suite of services than ever before.
One such service is Digital Twin. This technology allows the company to create an accurate, real-time digital representation of a physical asset. Its usefulness lies in its ability to predict breakdowns before they happen and provide maintenance instructions for technicians. It also allows for remote access so that users can monitor operations from anywhere in the world.
Data analytics is another accelerated service by 5G. NCS uses this technology to analyse terabytes of data generated by their client's assets and systems, allowing them to gain insight into how their equipment functions and what needs improvement.
Data visualisation is another service that can benefit from 5 G's speed and capacity. This technology allows users to view large amounts of information quickly while still being able to glean valuable insights from it.
5G technology revolutionises manufacturing, retail and entertainment, and smart cities. With 5G networks providing low latency and increased speeds, businesses can reduce costs while enhancing efficiency. Connecting billions of devices at once offers new opportunities for automation, helping factories become more efficient and reducing the need for manual labour.
In retail, 5G enables faster delivery of services and products. For entertainment, it allows for better streaming of content, as well as improved virtual reality experiences for gamers. Smart cities can use 5G to support better traffic management and air quality monitoring systems. With its ability to provide reliable connectivity and enable smart solutions, 5G is transforming how industries operate and providing organisations with a competitive advantage.
5G significantly impacts various industries, making organisations more efficient and cost-effective. By utilising this technology, businesses can benefit from improved operational processes and new opportunities for automation. As 5G networks continue to evolve and become more accessible, it will be interesting to see how this technology further revolutionises industries' operations.