If you are the one whose company is involved in IoT application, you must be working hard to understand, how to incorporate the new 5G technology which is still in its infancy, in your organization’s IoT digital transformation strategy or how to develop new applications based on it?
When we refer to the incorporation of 5G technology, we need to understand that it’s a set of two global wireless connectivity changes: one set based on incremental and evolutionary changes while the other set consists of groundbreaking and disruptive changes. To be able to embrace the new 5G technology on its arrival, one needs to understand these two sets of changes.
If your company is involved in the development of low bandwidth IoT applications such as smart grid, industrial asset management, supply-chain asset tracking, wearables or similar applications, that do not demands the transfer of data at high but requires relatively low-cost devices, low amounts of power, along with the broad coverage in remote rural area and dense urban environments then you are most probably using or planning to use Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technologies on existing 4G networks, such as LTE-M or NB-IoT, for these applications.
If this is the case, then you are planning to use incremental changes in 5G. With the 5G technology, the LPWA technology will have enhanced connectivity; efficient enough to pass through the cement walls, connecting more devices, extending the battery life of LPWA devices and will require less power to work. However, the incremental changes of 5G will not require the development of new hardware devices but a simple firmware up-gradation of current LTE-M and NB-IoT devices will be enough to take advantage of these enhanced capabilities of 5G.
When we hear about the groundbreaking changes by 5G, they are most likely discussing the roll-out of 5G New Radio (NR). With 5G New Radio (NR) a new wireless spectrum known as mmWave, operating between 20 and 300 GHz is supported besides the existing cellular wireless networks. The mmWave spectrum will allow 5G to plunge into the current 4G wireless cellular data rates, apart from this it will also offer much better deliver data rates than an average cable and fiber broadband connection.
Furthermore, the 5G’s support for mmWave will unveil the other disruptive wireless cellular connectivity capabilities such as ultra-high reliability, very low latency and very fast handoffs. The new 5G NR will be beyond the cellular wireless broadband services for home or businesses, supporting the development of entirely new applications such as factory automation, autonomous vehicles, and augmented reality applications.
The disruptive changes of 5G technology is expected to be launched in 2019 initially with 5G NR technologies, however, the incremental changes of 5G are not scheduled till 2020. This is the time to update the strategy and plans to update your applications on the arrival of new technology.