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Startups and Entrepreneurs: Here's What you Need to Know About 5G and its Impact on IoT

René Schmitz, Vice President IoT Products & Technology, Vodafone
René Schmitz, Vice President IoT Products & Technology, Vodafone

René Schmitz, Vice President IoT Products & Technology, Vodafone

5G has been talked about for years. Now that it’s here, however, getting ready can still be daunting. We hear about how larger organizations are leveraging this long-awaited technology. Startups and entrepreneurs should take note. Smaller businesses stand to benefit greatly and can use 5G to create competitive differentiation, but there’s a lot to know first.

What is 5G?

Most people think of their smartphones’ connectivity when they hear 5G. This is understandable. Each prior generation was defined by new speeds and affected the consumer most.

But the fifth generation of mobile wireless communication brings more than just speed. It brings new promises of lower latency, greater stability, the ability to connect many more devices at once, and the flexibility to move more data more efficiently. Just like 4G was defined by the growing usage of smartphones, we expect 5G to enable the Internet of Things (IoT) to flourish.

So, yes; with the 5G upgrade, HD movies will download in seconds, and videos will finally stream with no lag time. The home will get smarter and become more interconnected. Yet, the real impact of 5G will be in unlocking new opportunities for nearly every business sector. Industries like manufacturing, healthcare, education, and agriculture, as examples, will all be transformed by the ability to innovate better and grow. While boosting IoT innovation, 5G also presents new and lucrative opportunities for startups.

  ​With the unique combination of high bandwidth, low latency, and quality control, 5G will take IoT from a data-centric service to more of a control-centric service, putting mobile networks at the heart of operations to, for example, dedicate different slice bandwidth across multiple services 

What you Need to Know about the Benefits

One of the basic benefits of 5G will be better communication and accessibility. Communication drives operations, especially in new businesses. Better access, more connected devices, lower data latency, and higher-quality video meetings will provide an important foundation for startups.

All network-related tasks will be improved. Online or even better omnichannelsales, or just sharing oversized files in the cloud will become faster and more seamless. Mobile devices won’t need to connect to Wifi and deal with its interference. Businesses will be more productive and less bogged down by the tiny technical frustrations that build each day.

5G will better enable remote work, creating new opportunities for different types of employees. This widens the talent pool and also allows mobile workers on the road to accomplish more.

However, beyond these everyday basics - bandwidth and latency capabilities - what’s most transformational about 5G are the emerging technologies like mobile edge computing, network slicing, and service-based architecture. With the unique combination of high bandwidth, low latency, and quality control, 5G will take IoT from a data-centric service to more of a control-centric service, putting mobile networks at the heart of operations to, for example, dedicate different slice bandwidth across multiple services. Businesses will be able to develop products and services that weren’t even imaginable under 4G or even Wifi constraints.

How to Prepare for 5G

Even if 5G isn’t part of your technology portfolio yet, start infusing 5G into your company culture now. Employees will get excited. They’ll adapt faster when it does come, and they’ll probably even start to think of new ways to improve the business with 5G. Look at 5G not as a network component, but rather as an enabler of new use cases within your digital transformation journey – think Cloud, AR, VR, and Automation.

Startups boast agile and unique cultures, to begin with, and 5G is sure to enhance these areas even more. By supporting the entrepreneurial mindset, every aspect of the business stands to be positively impacted. The adoption of 5G and the thoughts around possible use cases will indeed transform businesses over the next few years. If you’re in your transformation journey now, you will be one of the first to benefit from its promise!

5G Coming to Life

A great example of a company we are collaborating with on their unique digitalization journey is e.GO Mobile AG. The electric vehicle manufacturing company was founded in 2015 by Prof. Dr.GüntherSchuh and was one of the first in the world to connect its production site using a private 5G network.

e.GO needed flexibility across its tools and technology and reliable coverage with low latency throughout their plant. Using network slicing and mobile edge computing (MEC) technologies, the optimized network built by Vodafone Business and Ericsson deliver secure and almost real-time data networking across the production chain. Production materials are automatically identified and supplied to each specific vehicle as it goes through the assembly process. The traditional production line is fully automated to move vehicles from station to station faster and more efficiently. The solution enables workers, equipment, and operations to be interlinked to speed up decision-making, reduce production costs, and enhance feedback loops.

More generally, we will start to see the power of 5G and IoT, changing the nature of our interactions and connections to the world. From drones to autonomous vehicles, 5G will create new opportunities to collect far more data, faster. Cars will be able to synchronize with each other and traffic lights, knowing your exact route and exact time; initiate breaking before a lidar radar could even notice. Drone applications will enable businesses to transform their operations, workers’ safety, and gain efficiency.

With faster speeds, lower latency, and greater capacity, 5G, combined with IoT, will build on today’s capabilities and keep developing transforming businesses. What are you most excited about when it comes to 5G in your business? How can you help the transformation journey with your startup?

See Also:

Top IoT Solution Companies

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