Explainer: Why is 5G Highly Important for IoT?


The rapid rollout of 5G services will provide the needed bandwidth, low latency, and security for a variety of IoT applications.

The 5th generation of network bandwidth has arrived with a bigger purpose altogether – to bring global devices closer and build intelligent IoT ecosystems. It is a significant step forward from its predecessor, 4G, that enabled media streaming across devices. Here onwards, not only will 5G boost this efficiency but will also improvise device-to-device communications at homes and factories. 

With 50 billion IoT devices expected to be deployed by 2030. It is the ‘5G factor’ that is accelerating the adoption and attracting widespread attention. 

However, the market is more prepared than you think. World’s leading service providers have already published case studies around the usability of 5G to perform complex network operations both for personal as well as industrial setups. GSMA, for example, is providing smart grid 5G network slicing, which is a part of 106 global launches they have already done. Likewise, Ericsson has an impressive portfolio of case studies of implementing 5G for commercial purposes such as mission-critical communications, smart energy distribution, mining automation, and more.

Even more impressive is the floLIVE’s global network, which provides a digital infrastructure to power IoT ecosystems with 5G. The global connectivity provider has a cloud-native platform delivering the world’s first Software-Defined Connectivity (SDC) solution. Using a patented SIM bootstrap technology, the platform provides uninterrupted cellular connectivity to devices anywhere in the world.

That being said, it is equally important and interesting to know about the driving forces. 5G is more than just a faster internet. It not only lessens dependency on expensive and hard-to-maintain hardware infrastructure but also compliments the high-volume data requirements of big data analytics.

How is 5G better?

While 4G achieved a high volume of streaming at a convenient speed of 2Gbps, 5G will provide 10X faster and stronger network bandwidths at nearly 20Gbps. It is also not incorrect to say that 5G could work as an alternative to wired fiber-optic networks. For IoT, lightning-fast network speed is a great deal because most devices perform with real-time updates only. Consider a simplistic use case of home IoT. Here, cameras, locking systems, doors, alarms, and other devices are connected. Building this monitoring system can only perform if fed with in-the-moment updates. If any latency at this level is not acceptable, then imagine the expectations in an industrial setup.

With the volume of data is increasing at record rates, so too should the infrastructure to transmit it. That’s exactly what 5G offers.

Network slicing: Breaking bandwidth for exclusive business requirements  

To put it simply, network slicing divides the available network bandwidth into multiple independent virtual networks – each meant for a particular business need. Now, IoT is a combination of different hardware and software elements and each with a very exclusive network requirement. Unless this requirement is successfully met, encompassing a multitude of devices for the product’s growth is nearly impractical.

5G makes it easier to allocate the parent bandwidth for exclusive business needs of varied applications in a single IoT ecosystem. Given such ease in customizing network parameters, accelerated adoption of IoT finally looks achievable.

However, there’s more to 5G than just better internet. It simplifies creating on-demand private networks.

IoT cannot prosper without overhauling our connectivity infrastructure at the local level. This means the internet within a restricted area should be uninterrupted. At the same time, many of these private establishments have exclusive and strict requirements for security and QoS. Now the beauty of 5G is its ability to fill the gaps with a seamless private network for closed compounds. With a cloud-native core network, factories, hospitals, smart logistics, research labs, and more can own a private 5G network, ensuring hassle-free security, regulatory compliance, performance, and service.

That being said, the private networking applications are not restricted to confined locations only. Using multiple public RANs, a private core network for multiple locations within a country can also be established. To put it simply, it is like utilizing the ease of a VPN without actually having to connect to a foreign network. The global network solution provides a reliable infrastructure that enables the creation of private 5G slices to global enterprises, thus ensuring security, performance, and quality of service globally! 

Opening up a world of IoT and 5G opportunities 

Pacing at record-breaking rates, 5G is committed to building communications for a smarter future. Large-scale initiatives such as smart cities, IIoT, and very remote working are just a few of the popular use cases that have 5G at the foundation layer. Going forward, there is a world of opportunities waiting for you to capitalize upon the power of 5G and IoT. How ready are you?

Yash Mehta

About Yash Mehta

Yash Mehta is an internationally recognized IoT, M2M and Big Data technology expert. He has written a number of widely acknowledged articles on Data Science, IoT, Business Innovation, Cognitive intelligence. His articles have been featured in the most authoritative publications and awarded as one of the most innovative and influential works in the connected technology industry by IBM and Cisco IoT department. He heads Intellectus (thought-leadership platform for experts) and a Board member in various tech startups.

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