When we think about rapid developments in terms of wireless technology, we often automatically assume it’s in regard to telecommunications. However, with so many alternative industries taking advantage of the offerings that wireless technology and connectivity provides, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Many companies recognized the need for intelligent wireless technologies and the importance of the likes of the Cloud Space back in late March following the announcement of nationwide lockdown. A report by Ofcom showed that 94 per cent of businesses believe digital technologies are crucial to increasing their productivity too. With this in mind, businesses who’d failed to prepare with said technologies were left ruing, finding difficulty to mobilize their business and staff while those who had found the transition effortless.
The question is, how much of an impact have wireless technologies and connectivity had on each industry? Here, we take a look at the industries revolutionized by smart technologies and the impact that 5G will have on their future.
Connectivity in the energy industry ‘helps augment the critical role that the industry has in the economy, increasing asset efficiency and reducing costs’.
Thanks to the power of wireless technologies and connectivity, the energy industry as a whole has been able to transition from a predictive system to a real-time reporting alternative. Now, as opposed to depending on unreliable predictions and basing conclusions on previous events, the construction industry is able to balance both supply and demand in harmony, maintain critical infrastructure, and harness technology to educate and inform consumers.
The result is one of positivity for both the business and the consumer, directly translating into greater reliability and lower costs for both.
5G communications, meanwhile, are expected to further transform the energy industry, vastly increasing download and upload speeds — times can 96 per cent faster than that offered by 4G.
While fuelling the Smart Grid to improve forecasting is certainly one way in which technologies have impacted the energy industry, it has been noted that 5G can work to rapidly develop technologies such as automatic traffic lights — preventing significant energy waste.
Back in early 2020, a Chinese construction company (CSCEC) was the first construction site to implement 5G into their processes.
The site had already introduced smart technologies such as AI, big data, and building information modelling (BIM) however 5G connectivity has promised to provide site chiefs with the part of the puzzle they’ve been looking for.
5G is being used on-site to better enable data collection, ultimately improving a variety of aspects, including health and safety and process efficiency. For example, a member of staff could log on from the portacabin and check the status of a piece of machinery to see if it is in use before traipsing halfway across the construction site.
Caterpillar’s Customer Enterprise Digital Manager, noted: “When a site can become connected, there are multiple benefits, including improved safety, reduced costs of materials, and increasing the availability of the workforce by making jobs easier to do.”
The Internet of Things has already been working to transform the healthcare industry, collecting, recording, and analysing data. It has also been allowing for the improvement of access to care, the improvement of the quality of care, and a reduction in the cost of care.
Remote monitoring of patients means that treatment comes to them rather than vice versa and information regarding their welfare is shared through wireless connectivity to the relevant professional. Similarly, others can benefit from early intervention of preventative care, where a monitoring device is capable of tracking them and reporting on them — ideal for someone elderly who is more likely to suffer a fall at home.
In the wake of COVID-19 we can expect to see a number of further transformations in regard to digital technologies and the role they play in the healthcare industry.
Analysts have suggested that the use of telehealth will triple by 2025 and it will be powered by the capabilities of 5G. Meanwhile, the superfast internet will also offer healthcare professionals the ability to send the likes of MRI scans online, with ease. This has been a particular problem thanks to the fact these documents are usually around 1GB in document size, making them rather complex to share.
Wireless technologies have, for a considerable amount of time, played a significant role in the developments which have occurred within the transport industry.
The creation of autonomous vehicles such as Google’s Waymo and the establishment of Smart Roads that we’re starting to see pop up in the Scandinavian countries have all been fuelled by the likes of AI, automation, and a plethora of smart technologies.
However, the introduction of 5G to the transport industry looks set to take things even further. 5G rail connectivity is being tested in a bid to develop a fully automated rail service, while car manufacturers across the globe are investing in similar concepts to allow their vehicle to vehicle communication to take off.
Here we’ve detailed just some examples of the industries that have been revolutionised thanks to the smart technologies but following recent events, we shouldn’t be surprised to see a plethora of alternatives facing complete overhauls introducing similar processes and concepts. The UK governments instruction to remove Huawei equipment could delay things significantly, however, with the entire 5G infrastructure impactable — we will simply have to wait and see.