5G AND IOT: THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION IS NOT JUST ABOUT TECHNOLOGIES OR BUSINESS. IT’S ABOUT SOCIETY.
SOME OTHER SECTORS THAT WILL BE INVOLVED IN 5G REVOLUTION
Despite the general interest is focusing mainly on the effects that the synergy between IoT and 5G will have on society, the arrival of 5G network will bring massive development and transformation opportunities in many different sectors.
Let’s have a look at which ones:
eHealth is one of those domains where there is an urgent necessity to move towards more advanced diagnostic and therapy techniques. In such a scenery, hospitals, doctors and other healthcare professionals are pushing towards adopting newer and more sophisticated machines to interact with the patients.
It is becoming essential to use technologies which can reach patients wherever they might be and in real time. With 5G doctors and patients will easily connect with each others but, also will hospitals, doctors and healthcare professionals. Efficiency levels of the healthcare system and the quality of the services provided will subsequently improve.
The objective is reached through the implementation of robotics innovations for surgical operations or by monitoring vital signs through sensors. All this will be done in real time and amongst different hospitals. Documents or info with important size will be shared and new systems with VR or AR for diagnostics will be introduced.
Agriculture will receive a radical push through the new transmission standard, with the consequent development and implementation of IoT. Together with Massive IoT strategies (which include a huge number of IoT sensors), a new system of Smart AgriFood will be born. Such term identifies a vision for the future of the agriculture and agroindustrial production where, with the use of digital technologies, the whole sector will improve its competitiveness.
Plantations will be constantly monitored: there will be remotely controlled drones keeping an eye on different sections of the crops, antiparasitics will be given only where necessary and new areas for cultivation will be easily identified.
These are all essential tools to reduce costs to a minimum, impact the environment less and improve food security.
- MANUFACTURING AND LOGISTICS
Manufacturing 4.0 is one of the buzzwords linked to 5G and it indicates a tendency towards manufacturing automation. It integrates some new productive technologies to improve work conditions, creating new business models and intensifying the productive quality in plants.
The new connection standard, IoT and the fourth industrial revolution will go hand in hand. The key words will be: efficiency, automation and optimization of volumes and production quality (also robots and artificial intelligence will play a role in this).
Benefits will not just be about production — they will also extend to logistics and movement of goods. It will be possible to program and automatize tools which will deliver the goods directly to the final customer.
This sector is definitely one of the biggest players in the 5G revolution. On 4th July the European Commission rejected the proposal of adopting wifi technology for vehicles. Fifth Generation was the preferred communication standard instead — it allows communication amongst Connected Cars. It is also known as C-V2X. The translation of this acronym is connectivity “Car-Vehicle to everything”.
The connection to a fast network such the one that will be here soon will make cars a fundamental part of Smart Cities.
Despite media and companies are focusing their attention on the technical development and the implementation of self driving cars, the most important objectives will be the increased security in vehicles, reducing pollution and handling traffic in a better way — this means less risks for everyone.
THE CHALLENGES OF 5G
All that glitters is not gold. Let’s try to put to one side all our enthusiasm for 5G: there are some doubts and worries which have already been raised and there are still many changes yet to be faced.
Something that really worries people is its implementation cost.
Companies and governments are investing big sums of money for the creation of new devices, for new antennas, to manage cloud, for new systems and hardware but also for the retrofitting of the pre-existent infrastructure — which basically means adapting all that is already in place so it can support the new systems.
5G needs new technologies, such as Massive MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) — a wireless network that allows the transmission and the reception of one or more data signal at the same time on the same radio channel. Such technologies are needed for new wave frequencies (for the millimetric ones) since 4G uses different ones.
Let’s analyze another weak point. As every single new generation mobile technology, 5G is creating a lot of problems around cyber security and, according to some, such technology represents one of the biggest challenges ever faced for security.
The exponential amount of connected devices will increase the number and the intensity of cyber attacks due to the ever more critical nature of the managed apps.
Many things will change hence why thinking about IT security from a different perspective will be necessary. It will need to be developed and designed together with networks and not at separate stages.
Like every other innovation, the new standard has a lot of enthusiasm for the technology evolution and for the every-day life benefits. These positive thoughts are often mixed with fear of possible risks for our health.
The new wave frequencies, the millimetric waves we have already mentioned, can be easily absorbed by walls, rain and even leaves. For this specific reason, an infrastructure is based on Small Cells — nodes of cellular radio access with a low power. They also operate within a spectrum, either with or without licence, in a distance that goes from 10 meters to a few kilometers. Small Cells involve an obvious proliferation of antennas and wave repeaters.
For such reason, many people and associations have raised their concerns regarding future exposure to radio frequencies and electromagnetic fields, which might be linked to the raise of tumors.
The Italian National Institute of Health has recently told the Parliament that “with antennas for 5G, the potential risks are more remote than the ones related to using mobile phones”. Despite such message, carrier networks still do find many obstacles that set stricter limits on electromagnetic emissions than other countries. Such issues could translate into a later installation of new antennas and that would postpone the implementation. Such scenery would cost Italian consumers a delay in the use, a smaller diffusion and an increased price compared to other countries.
The revolution has already started and t he connectivity will not be limited to the network capacity but it will be con controlled and defined by a specific requirement: every house, company, vehicle and mobile device will be able to work with high transmission speed and with super low latency.
A process that will revolutionize businesses forever and will change our lives and the way we live globally, for the best.
Originally published at https://www.interlogica.it on September 23, 2019.