At the mention of 5G, most people immediately think of mobile communications. However, in reality, this technology has enormous potential, which will allow it to be implemented across a wide range of sectors.
According to a recent study, seventeen different application contexts have so far been identified and documented by the Milan Politecnico in its ‘Osservatorio 5G and Beyond’; they are grouped into 8 different macro-categories.
We will look at the most important of these below, with the dual aim of illustrating the importance of the new network and understanding its future role in the daily lives of businesses and individuals.
5G can improve efficiency in many sectors connected with industry
Among the sectors expected to benefit most from 5G is logistics, where the ability to move goods while guaranteeing security and punctual delivery remain crucial for a company to be competitive in today’s market.
The continual quest for greater efficiency and the desire to reduce the environmental impact of transportation are objectives which can now be reached thanks to the features of this technology. More specifically, attention is being focused on three different application clusters as follows:
- Remote monitoring;
- Remote operation;
- Supervision and personal security.
Remote monitoring is useful for keeping track of goods-related data in real time, such as temperature, humidity variations and client enquiries. One current example is the transportation of Covid-19 vaccines, which require storage at a constant temperature throughout the shipping procedure.
Certain remote operations, such as remote control of machines, instruments and robots, will implement 5G broadband to send and receive enormous quantities of data without latency. It will allow maintenance work to be carried out remotely and AI to be trained to undertake certain collaborative assembly procedures.
One of the most interesting areas in which 5G will make a difference is that of security and supervision. Projects are currently under development to enable the regulation of traffic lights to operate responsively, so that buses and other public transport equipped with special sensors to enable them to interact with the traffic lights, would always find the lights on green as they arrive.
The idea is to guarantee improved punctuality and reliability, to encourage citizens to limit car use to a minimum. This would bring a considerable reduction in traffic congestion and pollutant emissions.
Healthcare and 5G: what’s changing?
The other main sector which should obtain huge advantages from the introduction of 5G is healthcare. The remote monitoring of chronic or recentlydischarged patients is already being trialled. Keeping track of their personal health parameters would enable doctors to foresee potential relapses or new illnesses before they manifest themselves physically.
Among the potential benefits of this method is the fact that early awareness of potentially dangerous situations means that more lives can be saved. Immediate surgery, furthermore, can facilitate the possibility of home treatment and recovery, thereby alleviating the workload of accident and emergency departments.
Another example of how 5G could be used in the healthcare sector is smart ambulances. Established protocols state that emergency vehicles must remain in constant contact with the hospital, so as to minimise triage time on arrival; they could be fitted with special instrumentation to carry out new types of diagnostic tests on board.
Translated by Joanne Beckwith