Five ways 5G will transform business

1. Logistics

According to statistics organisation Statista, there will be 1.8 million connected vehicles on the UK’s streets by the end of this year, rising to 8.6 million by 2020. The advent of 5G will see real-time, detailed monitoring of journeys, with vehicles able to exchange information with each other and roadside sensors about traffic conditions and local weather, for example.

2. Marketing

When entire cities are connected by 5G and the internet of things, it will be possible for advertisers to target customers based on their location, their buying habits – or anything else. Meanwhile, 5G holographic projection will let users view 3D video without 3D glasses. Customers might be able to test-drive a car virtually or walk through a virtual showroom.

3. Remote control

With the increased speed of 5G, remote automation of critical machines in dangerous work environments, such as mines, power plants, construction sites or oil platforms, will be made easier. Ericsson has already created a fully remote-controlled excavator and ABB has developed a way of operating harbour cranes remotely. Safety can be improved, and staffing and infrastructure costs cut.

4. Manufacturing

With 5G there will be scope for more automation in factories, with real-time monitoring of plant and process conditions. Manufacturing robots need only to include low-level controls, sensors and actuators. Having their intelligence in the cloud will mean they can access almost unlimited computing power in real time. This will make robots more flexible, adaptable and cheaper.

5. Conferencing

One millisecond latency and high throughput mean that people on opposite sides of the world will be able to use virtual reality to meet and collaborate as if they were in the same physical location. Remote collaboration will save time and cut costs, and could dramatically improve the effectiveness of customer service, distance learning and trouble-shooting.