Many industries have benefited from the rapid evolution of network technologies, but 5G will be a game changer.
“This partnership with Rogers opens exciting research and learning opportunities for our faculty and students in wireless technology,” says Professor Santa Ono, UBC President and Vice-Chancellor.
The project will also study autonomous vehicles, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and network slicing technology for many industry verticals. But the possibilities of 5G don’t end there. Experts predict that 5G will be able to connect 500 times the number of connected devices versus 4G, estimating one million connected devices for every square city kilometre. These connected devices will help emergency vehicles arrive faster by re-routing traffic, provide farmers with real-time data to save crops during droughts, and assist governments to manage natural disasters saving lives and businesses.
As the 5G revolution continues to pick up speed, it’s worth taking a look at some of the industries that will be impacted most.
Healthcare from anywhere
The reliability and low latency of 5G is paving the way for a new generation of robotics in healthcare. Expanded capability for robots to learn and perform complex tasks by leveraging tactile internet, the encoding of physical interaction, will allow doctors to perform operations in real-time without being on-site. Lower latency and super-high bandwidth will enable instant sharing of large medical data files, real-time remote monitoring, and the use of artificial intelligence for diagnostics.
It should come as no surprise that the automotive industry is expected to change radically by 5G technology. Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) technology, as the name implies, is the ability for two vehicles to share data between them, potentially mitigating collisions, reducing traffic congestion and improving environmental impacts. 5G will enable this concept to go one step further to Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technology making it possible for vehicles to communicate with the world around them using smart traffic signals, wayfinding aids, and traffic information. With automakers announcing plans for V2V technology, V2X technology won’t be far behind.
Think differently about data analytics
The ability to transmit large amounts of data in real-time will enable other technologies to do more with data. Drones are an excellent example. The combination of drone manoeuvrability and 5G connectivity will deliver unprecedented levels of flexibility to capture and analyse data that otherwise would have been too expensive, too dangerous, or just impractical to collect. And drones are just one example. Expect to see sensors applied to industrial robots, meteorological equipment, infrastructure for public safety and more.
Engineering and computer science expansion pack
Long-term monitoring capabilities is a simple yet enormously valuable concept for many industry verticals. 5G will enable IoT sensors located in the ground, underwater or in the air to increase and expand the functionality of persistent monitoring over long periods of time. This functionality can be used for monitoring air quality conditions in areas impacted by environmental hazards, or agriculture to survey crop and livestock conditions and recommend adjustments and necessary actions in real-time from virtually any location.
Operations and IT optimized
The future of smart-manufacturing is in IoT solutions creating the ability to track assets in factories, consolidate control rooms, troubleshoot processes through Augmented Reality, and increase analytics functionality through the installation of predictive maintenance systems. Manufacturers across many areas such as electronics, household goods, and automotive have already made the investment in embedded devices to monitor equipment and assets to optimize their operations.
Logistics are more than where it’s at
From supply-chain management and long-distance logistics to local deliveries in busy downtown streets, the future of tracking and delivering items won’t rely solely on people. With the ability to attach sensors to each item in transit, questions about location, responsibility, timing and more will be answered in real-time. This will be the new reality of logistics and 5G technology. This level of detailed information makes autonomous delivery mechanisms feasible, such as the delivery of supplies to rural communities by autonomous trucks, or small bots navigating busy sidewalks to make rapid deliveries any time of day.
Urban planning for smart cities
Many cities are facing similar challenges to enhance safety, increase energy efficiency, improve air quality, and provide affordable transportation. Fortunately, these challenges are being addressed through trials and pilot projects like the Rogers and UBC partnership to bring the most reliable solutions forward. 5G technological developments are one step closer to creating safer and smarter cities.
Find out what else the Rogers + UBC partnership could mean for industry.