By Preetham Uthaiah
The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a long lockdown, which has spurred a digital transformation in the economy.
Education has gone truly digital with the advent of online classes and exams, doctors are providing consultations online, meetings are being conducted via video conferencing platforms and even international trade exhibitions have shifted to online webinars and events.
As a result of this digital transformation, internet usage has surged extensively putting immense pressure on existing communication networks.
A reliable and robust 5G communication network can help industries maximize this digital transformation.
The SLA’s (service level agreements) and QoS (quality of service) that need to be met for some of the time-critical applications can be accommodated using 5G technology with some of its advanced features such as ‘Slicing’ and low latency communication that ensures that real-time communication happens without getting affected by the traffic loads.
Here are some key sectors that are bound to benefit from a 5G driven digital transformation –
The healthcare industry will immensely benefit from 5G networks. With increasing use of online consultations and tele-medicine, a reliable and faster connection is critical to effectively deliver remote healthcare services.
The low latency and faster speeds which are a main feature of 5G will help in time critical telemedicine applications such as remote surgery and remote patient monitoring etc. Hospitals also transmit large amounts of patient data including large files like CT Scans and MRIs. Some hospitals like King’s College Hospital, UK; Sinchuan University Hospital, China and Samsung Medical Centre, South Korea are installing private Enterprise 5G solutions to support their IT networks.
In this emerging technological world, scientific farming techniques are being used to boost productivity in farms. These include use of Agri-IoT sensors for soil monitoring, water management, smart irrigation, crop health monitoring, drone-based farm management etc. Deployment of 5G networks will provide added benefit to manage these drones and get real time data from the sensors by effectively using the 5G networks
The real estate sector, which has for long been known for its offline operations, is set to transform itself with the advent of 5G technology.
In its new avatar, virtual property tours using AR/VR technologies, as well as 3D printed models of homes will be a reality in aiding digital marketing and sale of properties.
Powered by stable and fast networks with lower latency, 5G will also ensure the smooth functioning of various stages of the design process to include 3D architectural visualization and collaborative meetings with various stakeholders.
5G brings with it unprecedented speed and connectivity to make autonomous, or self-driving cars a reality. An autonomous car is expected to produce up to 25 GB data per hour.
Current networks will not be able to handle such large volumes of real-time data. 5G networks will allow faster-than-ever communication and real-time data processing between vehicles, networks, infrastructure and even pedestrians.
The manufacturing sector is becoming more and more autonomous. High speed connectivity is needed to monitor and direct robots working on the factory floor.
Additionally, many factories are becoming more “smart” with IoT sensors being installed across the factory, sharing real-time updates to a central server. 5G technologies can provide network characteristics that are vital for the manufacturing industry.
This technology will allow for increased flexibility, lower costs, and smaller lead times for layout changes and alterations at the manufacturing units, factory floor production reconfiguration etc.
5G is poised to aid manufacturing/production operations, helping them become more efficient, while also refining security and reducing maintenance and operating costs.
Hailed as an upcoming tech revolution, 5G promises advantages that will touch every aspect of our lives, from healthcare to education to products and services we buy and beyond!
(The author is EVP – Marketing and Strategy, Saankhya Labs)