Sectors that are going to see high adoption of 5G include the public sector, industrial automation, healthcare, education, and media and entertainment.
By Tushar Vrind
2020 was a year that led to the most disruptive innovations. At a time when the world stumbled to a halt amidst multiple lockdowns, telecom networks kept people connected. The reemergence of telecom as the sunrise sector of the economy has led to an acceleration of reviving India’s telecom story and introducing future technologies faster.
5G is one of these technologies gaining traction and it is clear that the adoption of 5G has now become a national priority. There is also growing interested amongst consumers and the corporate sector to make 5G the biggest priority because advancements on a mass scale can only happen with its deployment. 5G can be up to 100 times faster than 4G experience and has a lower latency of just one millisecond compared to 4G’s 20 milliseconds. While the most significant advantage of 5G is speed, but its applications are far-reaching and will have a significant impact on various sectors. The leading sectors that are going to see high adoption of 5G include the public sector, industrial automation, healthcare, education, and media and entertainment.
Let us look at how these sectors will be revamped due to 5G.
The continued migration of people from rural to urban areas, augmented by the general growth of the earth’s population has increased the influx of a larger number of residents in the cities. To manage the resources operations and complexities of these large cities, it would be cost-effective and efficient if they are automated from traffic, sewage to power grids. The Government of India’s smart city mission is based on this premise – building an intelligent world connected through the Internet of Things. 5G is promising to be an enabling technology for the internet of things (IoT) with its ultra-low latency, HD quality downloads, reliability, and massive network capacity.
With the massive amount of data generated, 5G and IoT can effectively analyze the data and feed it back to the infrastructure to affect changes in the operation of smart cities. One of the biggest use cases of 5G in smart cities will be its effect on services related to public safety and security. Real-time analytics of video recordings of public venues coupled with biometrics will be able to identify dangerous situations quickly and alert authorities automatically in scenarios like a car accident or a potential terrorist attack.
In the future, we are likely to see improvement in transportation systems using 5G. Once 5G networks are deployed nationwide, fully autonomous cars can also soon become a reality. Commuters will be able to get and share real-time traffic updates as well as alerts on the busiest routes to avoid. Data generated can also be used to see the traffic peaks and troughs so that new routes can be brought in altogether. This in turn will enable Digital India to help smart cities run smoother, making sure we are on time, and lessening the environmental impact of commuting itself.
The pandemic has proven that technology has the potential in improving patient experience with personalized and preventative care. 5G is set to enhance this further by being a game-changer to bring telemedicine to the forefront by enabling real-time high-quality video for appointments. This will also be a boon for rural areas seeking access to internet-connected healthcare services. By using IoT and Wi-Fi healthcare has made better use of equipment monitoring and faster tracking.
Healthcare providers can monitor patients remotely and use artificial intelligence (AI) tools to provide the best care possible. With reliable, real-time monitoring, not only will 5G improve patient data management but it will also create inroads in telesurgery. While augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and spatial computing are already being used in healthcare on a limited basis, 5G may eventually further enhance a doctor’s ability to deliver innovative and less invasive treatments.
The manufacturing sector was one of the hardest hits during the lockdown, hastening the arrival of industrial automation. Industry 4.0 is the ongoing automation advancement of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices, using modern smart technologies.
Forward-looking manufacturers had implemented Industry 4.0 technology, which includes innovations such as machine-to-machine communications (M2M), smart automation, and business intelligence. A combination of IoT, cloud computing, and real-time analytics enabled companies with business continuity. Smart automation will be revolutionized by the speed and low latency of 5G and will increase product quality and productivity with less concern about downtime and the lost revenue that goes with it.
At a time when edtech is blooming, 5G will play a key role in supporting a million devices without any delays. With the help of IoT, the education sector is availing of the benefits of collaboration between students, educators, and administration.
5G will also enable a global networking enhancement of textbooks, attendance monitor systems, data collection, and better collaboration. With 5G, distance learning and online education will become more accessible and more convenient, and truly become a next-generation technology.
Media and entertainment
We saw phenomenal growth in the media and entertainment industry during the pandemic with the consumption of online gaming and over the top (OTT) content. Soon, 5G will herald a nexus between entertainment content and technology, where virtual experiences, collaborative viewing, location-based targeting, and much more will thrive to go beyond what we are viewing today.
Combined with technologies like AR and VR, 5G will bring a new form of shared entertainment experience with interactive gaming, user-generated content, and a supercharged advertising experience. This is just an iota of the possibilities that 5G will enable.
With 5G, the possibilities are endless, and it will enable innovative business models that are bound to revolutionize the way we live and communicate. 5G promises the potential to create inroads in various sectors and further augment the already connected world. As a technologist, I am eager to see how these enhancements and partnerships will bridge the digital divide between rural and urban areas and truly set the course for a Digital India.