• Mobility

5G and the Internet of Things revolution

If you’ve made it this far, you’re likely already aware of 5G’s impressive capabilities when it comes to speed, capacity, and overall performance. If not, we’ve wrapped up some of the more pertinent points for you in our 5G infographic.

But how much do you know about the Internet of Things (IoT)? While we’ve already waxed lyrical about the stellar differences between 5G and its predecessor, 4G, where the fifth-generation network really shines is in the elevation of the IoT.

The good, the bad and the Internet of Things

Ah, yes, the Internet of Things. While it may sound like something out of a bad Sci-Fi movie, the IoT is far more impressive. It encompasses almost everything that is hooked up to the internet. The IoT is a multitude of devices that, using embedded sensors, connect with each other and transfer data across your network – gathering information, analysing it, and creating actions from it.

It’s like the film The Matrix but instead of chips in people, connecting everyone towards some terrifying cause, it’s sensors in devices such as smartwatches, cars, street lamps, bathroom mirrors, mobile phones, traffic lights and even dog collars – connecting everyday items to make our lives more efficient and our day-to-day much more seamless. 5G is set to elevate this technology beyond what many thought possible.

A domestic example of this can be derived from California-based business Insteon. Insteon lets users monitor their home windows, doors, smoke levels, potential leaks and much more via sensors. They can even control lighting and appliances, all from one nifty little app. Great news if you’ve gone on holiday only to be hit with the fear that you’ve left the kitchen window wide open.

5G: Devising our devices

Sounds futuristic, right? Actually, this technology is already becoming the norm. The number of businesses that use IoT technologies has increased from 13% in 2014 to about 25% today, with the number of IoT-connected devices is projected to reach 4 3billion by 2023.

Enabling your teams to communicate effortlessly between multiple devices, and having those devices share data intuitively while on the move, is an aspect that is transforming the way in which we all work. The technology is already being used – the elevating factor is the introduction of 5G.

The speed, capacity, and ubiquitous coverage of this new network can support your smart devices, and their business-critical applications, remotely. It’s designed to deliver the highest performance wherever it’s being used.

In practice, if a customer’s product were to experience a fault, this can be picked up by the IoT setup. A message will be automatically pinged to both the customer and your company’s customer service or faults department, describing the issue and even offering a potential solution. That’s before your customer has even picked up the phone or logged into your webchat to raise an issue. Now that’s smart.

This flow of data between your devices is only going to increase exponentially over time. It will weigh a heavy toll on your business IT infrastructure, which is why a flexible end-to-end solution that incorporates your business’ entire tech stack, combined with a powerful underlying network like 5G, is crucial.

To infinity, our smartphones and beyond!

As the rollout continues, more 5G-capable smartphones and carrier subscriptions will become available to consumers and businesses.

While the IoT could function on devices running on a 4G network, bandwidth limitations were holding businesses back. The 4G network has limited bandwidth and its Wi-Fi offering has limited range.

5G is kicking down the bandwidth door, massively increasing cellular bandwidth and making it easier for the IoT to join a larger number of devices together. This means that more sensors can be deployed in buildings, creating smart cities. Currently, IoT technology is powering devices in remarkable ways. A lamp post may not be able to follow you on Twitter, but it will switch on and off once it senses a pedestrian walking by. With the introduction of 5G, this technology will develop even further, resulting in hospital beds being able to alert doctors to a patient’s current state of health, for example.

In manufacturing, IoT technology can track a product from its build stage all the way through to its arrival with a buyer, alerting the buyer with updates through every major stage of the product cycle. This automation is making production smoother, staff more efficient and it’s boosting customer satisfaction.

Now, onto devices. Most new high-end mobile devices are being built to be 5G compatible. This has also begun trickling down to the midrange and lower budget smartphones. So whatever device your business invests in, if it isn’t 5G capable now, it soon will be.

But don’t just take our word for it…

Although the potential of the IoT was realised back when we first started connecting assets and suppliers, today the ability to collect and analyse data from said devices is set to drastically shape the new economy.

Building secure, agile platforms cost-effectively, and gathering more data than ever before, the economy is turning fully digital. It’s no wonder the government is encouraging businesses to get on board.

Back in 2018, the government recognised the business potential in IoT technology and proposed a number of new consumer policies related to IoT security and codes of practice. Laying the foundations nicely for the introduction of more advanced networks.

In fact, the UK is on route to establishing itself as a global leader in the development and implementation of 5G solutions, and the government can take some credit for this.

In July, UK government officials launched a £30m competition to help position the UK as a leading global destination for developing the next generation of 5G networks. That’s not all: the government’s stance is to support incumbent suppliers, attract new suppliers and accelerate open-interface technologies. The goal is to help the nation to meet ambitious digital infrastructure plans.

Businesses should find confidence in the governments backing of the 5G rollout and IoT technology. Government officials see the vast opportunities and they’re currently creating shortcuts for businesses so that they can use the technology to stay competitive.

5G and IoT is business-critical

These days, most business is done digitally. If we’re not brainstorming in a virtual meeting on our laptops we’re responding to customers via webchat on our phones or doing a spot of online shopping on our lunch break via tablet. The IoT, bringing these devices together, is improving these processes behind the scenes by benefiting from 5G’s low latency, super-fast network.

Businesses can harness the power of this technology to elevate the service being delivered to their customers. Response times are faster, apps are more seamless, and employees feel confident and in control knowing they have the best tools for the job.

Together, IoT and 5G are the gold medal-winning, tour de force team of innovative technology. Those who don’t consider the benefits for their business won’t even be in the race.

5G is the perfect balance between cost and performance, but it does need some encouragement from a knowledgeable provider such as Gamma. Get in touch with our team to find out more or visit our dedicated mobile page today.