Three technologies are always mentioned together – 5G, AI, and IoT. All of these are interrelated. They are all highly beneficial for businesses and this is why there is much talk about them in recent times. Industries are deliberating about how these technologies can be used beneficially to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. AI and IoT are already in use. 5G is being launched in many areas around the world. In this article, we will see how 5G can enhance AI and IoT.

 

Before we go ahead and dive into the topic of this article, we must understand what 5G, AI, and IoT are. We must first learn where AI and IoT are being used. Only with this knowledge will we be able to appreciate the impact of 5G on them.

 

Understanding AI

 

In a layman’s language, AI is the ability of machines to think and act like humans. What will immediately come to mind are robots. But AI is not limited to robots. It includes any machine or computer that can be made to act without giving explicit instructions. This science helps computers to learn from experience and improve on it. One of the simplest applications of this technology is in suggesting products to customers after studying their earlier purchases. Song suggestions by music apps are also made using AI.

 

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AI is one of the 5G applications that will benefit much from its speed and bandwidth. Before we go into those aspects let us see how AI is applied to computers or machines. Machine learning or ML is a method where machines are taught to learn from experience. Computers will learn the patterns and arrive at conclusions without human interference. There are also other methods like deep learning, neural networks, natural language processing, computer vision, and cognitive computing. Machines become capable of many actions by themselves, saving much of our time.

 

Purpose And Applications Of AI

 

So, why do we need AI? It is mainly meant to enhance human capabilities and enable us to make better decisions in various complex situations. This technology is also one that can help us lead a better life with much less labor. This is because machines will learn to think and act like us. Currently, though, this science has not touched our lives in such a manner as to enhance its quality. But, business establishments are widely using it to make their processes more efficient with lesser human effort.

 

One of the uses of 5G technology is to help in improving AI to a great extent with its high bandwidth and low latency characteristics. To understand what it means we must know what applications use AI. One area where everyone commonly sees its use is when Google automatically fills in what you wanted to type. Facebook uses this science to tell us who we might want to add as our friends. It is evident here that these applications are predicting our thoughts and intentions.

 

Using AI has a lot of advantages apart from making our searches and movie watching easier. It helps to reduce human error by reducing our interference in various tasks. If they are programmed correctly machines will not make errors like we are prone to. Not needing human interference means that many services can be made available 24/7. Repetitive work will no longer waste valuable human resources. AI has very wide use in healthcare as many people can be saved before they reach dangerous disease levels. It also helps in increasing online security.

 

Let’s now look at the other technical development that will be impacted greatly by 5G – IoT.

 

What Is IoT?

 

IoT stands for Internet of Things. “Things” here refer to those machines that can be connected to the internet for conveying data to machines or humans. Machines that would otherwise be dumb can be made digitally intelligent by connecting them to computers and other devices using sensors. This enables them to send and receive data without any assistance from us. Almost anything can become a connected device providing valuable data about their working. The availability of cheap and small chips, along with better internet connectivity has facilitated wider use of this technology.

 

It is not just devices that can become connected. Humans with heart monitors are also part of an IoT system. Animals with biochip transponders become connected too. All of the connected entities have embedded components like sensors, processors, and communication hardware. These help to collect, send and act on data. Such gadgets send information to a gateway or edge device. Collected details are either analyzed locally or sent to the cloud. IoT connected devices also communicate with each other and act on instructions received. In most cases, there is hardly any human intervention.

 

Uses And Benefits Of IoT

 

What it has done to our homes, vehicles, and workplaces is to make them smarter. It is now much easier to play your favorite songs with Amazon’s Echo. People don’t have to return from work to a sweltering hot home and wait for their aircon to cool it. It is possible to switch on an AC even before starting home. IoT has also helped increase the security of houses. One can monitor what is happening at home sitting far away. Almost all devices can be made smarter using this technology.

 

IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) or Industry 4.0 as it is otherwise known is a name given to technology that uses IoT for business purposes. This can greatly help organizations to improve profits, efficiency, and speed of operations. When machines inside a factory are connected it is easy to get data about their functioning. There can be advanced information about wear and tear which will help to prevent unexpected breakdowns. Connecting supply chain elements will assist in making deliveries faster. It will ensure to avoid overstocking of slow-moving goods.

 

Analytics is another area that benefits from IoT. Getting data from more devices will mean more information to work on. Business analytics depends on getting as many details as possible regarding a company’s operation and IoT helps get them. Inferences resulting from such analytics will be more accurate and will enable businesses to improve their efficiency. Another area of high importance is safety on roads. IoT is already making vehicles automatically stop if there is less than the required distance between them and those in front.

 

It is Now Time to Introduce the Hero of this Story – 5G

 

The Superfast Network

 

This network is yet to be launched in India. But everyone is already talking about 5G applications and how they could change our lives like never before. There are discussions about the fifth-generation mobile network that is capable of connecting all of us and our devices in a superfast network. We have seen many upgrades to our internet connection from 1G to 4G. But experts say that this new one is not just an upgrade but will be revolutionarily different from the present version.

 

Though it will use the same frequencies presently being used on mobile phones for both wi-fi and satellite communication, its speed will be hundred times that of 4G. This new network will also have a much higher bandwidth. It can connect a much higher number of devices than what is currently possible. One of the main features that is going to benefit both AI and IoT is its low latency. Responses will be almost instantaneous with this mobile broadband connection. This will help in a much faster exchange of data between machines.

 

What Are The Benefits Of 5G?

 

When talking about the uses of 5G technology one thing that every person will find beneficial is its enormous speed. Imagine being able to download movies in a few seconds. Multiple services can be accessed simultaneously. One can know the weather and get traffic updates even while talking to someone else. You need not worry about slow loading even when there is heavy traffic on a website. Gamers will be those who will most benefit from this network’s low latency and high speeds which will make it a more immersive experience.

Image Courtesy: https://medium.com/@kaitlinstevens16/the-implications-and-complexity-of-the-revolutionary-5g-40d3559175e6

 

Commercially 5G is expected to improve efficiency and reduce costs across all industries. It will also help greatly in agriculture where information about the weather can be had on a real-time basis. Total healthcare in rural areas will become a reality. Doctors will be able to monitor and perform medical procedures remotely. Critical information from monitors can reach doctors much faster enabling them to save more lives. As more data about diseases can be had at a faster rate, it will be possible to find cures much faster.

 

The other attribute of 5G which is its capacity to connect almost 1000 times as many devices as 4G, will be a great advantage to industries. They will be able to automate many processes as more machines exchange data to work without human interference. The transport industry will gain a lot by getting more real-time information about weather, road conditions, and traffic. It will help them reduce travel time greatly. Security in cities will improve greatly as more surveillance devices will provide quick information. First responders will get news about incidents much faster than now.

 

Now that we have been introduced to all the main characters it is time to see how they are connected and what will be its impact on various use cases.

 

How 5G Will Affect AI?

 

AI is perfected when more examples are provided to it. This requires a vast amount of data. When 5G is introduced there is an opportunity to connect a large number of devices compared to what is possible now. This results in there being more information that can be used for making AI work better. AI depends on machine learning to teach devices to automatically perform. Machines can become more intelligent when there is more data to learn from. This is what 5G will provide.

 

Virtual assistants and chatbots must respond quickly if they should serve their purpose. They must continue to get information on a real-time basis. This is possible with the high network speeds that 5G applications can provide. Even today both VA and chatbots are much in use. Their performances will be much better when information can pass many times faster than at present. With 5G these assistants will get what is lacking today to make them perfect – contextual awareness. They will have a better awareness of their surroundings as more data is available at better speeds.

 

Low latency is another characteristic of 5G that will benefit AI greatly. Most modern vehicles have many smart functions solely dependent on AI. They work by sending signals and receiving responses. If these must perform to their best abilities, then it is necessary to receive replies very quickly. 5G provides extremely low latency which means responses will be instantaneous making it possible to take immediate action. There will be lesser accidents and more efficient functioning of vehicles.

 

These are the ways in which 5G enhances AI. It is pertinent to look at some use cases that will help us understand why experts are eagerly awaiting 5G deployment.

 

Better Power Supplies

 

Most governments are trying to improve their power supplies using smart grids. These grids will help detect faults very quickly. They will also recognize any power leakage and send warning signals. This will enable power companies to detect theft very quickly. Load imbalances can also be diagnosed quickly and any adverse consequences avoided. But all these will require a large number of sensors to be placed and information received from them continuously. Without 5G’s excellent speed and bandwidth, it is not possible to perfect the smart grid.

 

Remote Counselling And Companionship

 

In a world where people are increasingly living alone, companionship and counselling have become very important. Not everyone can have friends who can be called at any time just to talk to. What if you could create human-like chatbots that could read one’s expressions and respond accordingly? Such “digital humans” are being made and they all need AI. But what is more important is a quick response. If one wants to communicate in real-time, then there is a need for a fast network with very low latency. This is what 5G will provide.

 

Quick Responses From Fire Fighters & Law Enforcers

 

Fire fighting and law enforcement can be much better with 5G technology. Mobile platforms that can send messages automatically to these agencies are being developed using cloud technology and AI innovations. It will help in a quick action from concerned agencies to save people and property from destruction and loss. This will be possible only when signals from a large number of devices and sensors can be received and responded to quickly. 5G network will make it possible.

 

Safer Homes

 

One of the important uses of 5G technology is in AIoT or Artificial Intelligence of Things. Home surveillance systems use this technology to record videos and send them for storage. These devices depend on a wi-fi network for communication. In some homes, a 4G network backup is also provided. Proper functioning will happen only if there are enough wi-fi access points coverage around the house. When 5G is incorporated into this system, it will be possible to upload multiple videos simultaneously to be uploaded to cloud storage. This can make homes and their inmates very safe.

 

Better Crop Output

 

A world with a fast-growing population depends on agriculture to feed its people. But agriculture itself is dependent on various factors like weather, soil quality, soil condition, etc. Climate change is already affecting farmers adversely. Many AI devices are being used currently to measure moisture, fertilization, and weather patterns. Most farming activities happen in rural areas where connection speeds are frustratingly low. 5G is the answer to these. It can improve the working of AI to help agriculturists get much more dependable information to reap better harvests.

 

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Improved Healthcare

 

Healthcare is very important for improving the quality of life of people. All technologies must aim at improving health conditions. AI is already being used in various places. There are chatbots that help people and healthcare workers diagnose diseases quickly. This technology is also being used in remote surgery. High speeds and data capacity are required to download voluminous files that are generated by MRI, CAT, and PET scans. 5G will provide the speed and bandwidth necessary for this. AI will be used to analyze these files for disease detection. Remote monitoring of health will also be more efficient with higher network speeds.

 

Better Online Education

 

AI is already being used in education. Online teaching depends on this technology for various purposes. But the quality of such classes can be much better when a 5G connection is included. Methods like virtual reality are possible only if there is enough network speed and bandwidth. This will make education more immersive. The new superfast broadband connection will satisfy these needs. The AI market in education is expected to grow exponentially over the years. The 5G network will help make it happen at a faster pace.

 

Driverless Vehicles

 

This is probably one application of AI that everyone is aware of. We all know how automotive companies are competing with each other in developing autonomous vehicles. These are already being tested at various facilities. The performance of such automobiles depends on exchanging huge amounts of data. They must receive information from external sources. Collected data must be processed quickly and acted upon for controlling the vehicle. All these actions depend on being able to receive large volumes of information from many sources at high speeds. This can be provided only by a 5G network.

 

Drones

 

Drones are being increasingly used for various purposes. They are helping governments monitor remote places for detecting dangers like forest fires. These flying devices also perform delivery of medicines and blood to distant medical facilities that may take a long time to reach using other conveyances. Drones are also now used for delivery by various private companies. They can help avoid delays caused due to traffic jams. Drones use AI and there is a need for a lot of data input at very high speeds. 5G can fulfil both these requirements.

 

The Impact Of 5G On Internet Of Things

 

IoT is a technology that is already in use and benefits both individuals and enterprises. Smart homes are becoming popular as more people prefer to control their homes from smartphones. RFID tags also use IoT to send data on products they are attached to. Companies are already using IoT to make their production more efficient and reduce wastages. Most machines today have sensors that can send data to computers regarding their activities. This helps firms to avoid delays and wastages in production.

 

The use of IoT is expected to rise hugely as tags and sensors become cheaper. They are also becoming more intelligent. These devices are consuming less power. Their speeds are also increasing continuously. Outside interference is managed much better by such gadgets and they can send signals over long distances. Rough estimates say that there will be at least seven IoT-enabled devices for every living person. IIoT is being adopted very quickly by business establishments. As costs decrease its use will be more widespread.

 

5G is expected to bring a host of benefits to IoT that were absent with earlier network connections. Its ability to support a massive number of devices is in itself a great advantage. These devices can have different speeds, bandwidths, and quality of service requirements. Apart from speed and better bandwidth, ultra-reliable low latency communication is another feature of 5G that will have a huge impact on IoT. This feature is essential for both enterprise and domestic IoT to function perfectly. The instantaneous response that 5G assures is a great boon for autonomous cars and smart homes equally.

 

It is possible to quote many use cases to show that 5G technology can get IoT to perform as per our expectations.

 

Safer Driving

 

While driverless vehicles are undergoing tests, they are not yet ready to be rolled out any soon. But their success rates are very high and those who have tested have vouched for their safety. All these vehicles need IoT for running safely. Meanwhile, more cars that are manufactured today are coming with IoT to enable them to run safely even if their drivers are not very careful. They are called connected cars. Their connectivity to a network is not just used for streaming music or giving weather updates. Such automobiles will be connected to road infrastructure, other vehicles, and even pedestrians.

 

This is one area where 5G applications can provide excellent support. These vehicles will need to receive information from all connected sensors to inform drivers about impending dangers or road conditions. These cars will even inform drivers about potential hazards including people who are using the road carelessly. Such vehicles will have warnings about exceeding speed limits. It will warn about other cars that violate red lights, assist in making difficult turns, warn about excessive speeds in curves etc.

 

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Such a vehicle will need constant information about its environment. This can be provided only if the network allows for data from numerous devices to be conveyed at high speeds. 5G networks are capable of this. In addition to speed, their low latency will make it possible for signals to go back and forth instantaneously. Experts are envisaging even the possibility of virtual roadside infrastructure. This will mean lesser obstructions on roads. Making roads and vehicles safer could be one of the uses of 5G technology when combined with IoT.

 

Improved And Immersive Gaming

 

Gaming is not something new. Right from those basic games that all of us played on PCs and old mobile phones to the most modern ones, gaming has kept people attracted to it as nothing else has. Today gaming is not just a pastime but a phenomenon that involves a huge amount of money. Companies compete to release the most thrilling games meant to keep players hooked to them. Games are more engaging today with virtual reality, exciting graphics, and excellent storytelling. IoT is helping this activity become more exciting and involved.

 

What was once a solitary activity is now involving friends and families. IoT can make connecting to their friends’ consoles very easy. Combined with augmented reality, it can make gamers feel as if they are part of it. Mobile games have made it unnecessary for players to be tied to their consoles or PCs. Many new games can be played seamlessly across platforms. One can start the game at home on a PC and continue it on their mobile phones. IoT can help include gamification even into non-gaming activities like working out.

 

Gaming has also entered education with applications that make students feel like playing when they are learning very valuable lessons. IoT can make gaming more immersive and give players a better experience. But for IoT to work well, it will need a fast connection that will be provided by 5G. High bandwidth and low latency will help in cloud gaming. Edge computing will be able to process large volumes of data. This will make it unnecessary for AR/VR headsets to have advanced processing capabilities.

 

Smarter And More Efficient Manufacturing

 

Consumer demand and rapid advancement in technology are fueling a drastic change in manufacturing units. Companies are able to innovate and use new technologies to improve their profits. Industry 4.0 will continue to dominate this sector as more smart devices are being integrated into this sector. Combining artificial intelligence and data science is helping organizations beneficially utilize IoT. The wear and tear of machines and parts can be known more accurately with sensors and tags attached to them. This will prevent sudden breakdowns as maintenance can be performed on time.

 

Monitoring equipment operations regularly is helping to bring down costs drastically. It is possible to improve their performance and extend machine lives. Global competition is forcing companies to innovate. New technologies like robotics, flexible manufacturing, warehouse automation, and smart factories play a major in reducing costs and improving efficiency. For all these advanced facilities, two vital technologies are 5G and IoT. The new superfast network will help connect a large number of machines and sensors which is crucial for IoT efficiency.

 

5G will enable factories to become truly smart by helping them use technologies like automation, AI, and augmented reality. This network will improve connectivity resulting in predictive maintenance of machines and robots. Other pain points like insufficient bandwidth, speed, and latency can also be overcome using this broadband connection. 5G applications can enhance IoT capabilities to improve flexibility in production. Using this technology will result in reducing production time and faster delivery of goods. This results in a better customer experience. The high data-gathering capacity of this network will help in better product life management.

 

Better Patient Monitoring And Treatment

 

An industry that is continuously growing and is expected to do so for many years to come, is healthcare. There has been continuous technology upgrading happening in this sector. Modern machines are being invented regularly and used widely to ensure better care for patients. IoT has found use in this industry too. It is known as IoMT or the Internet of Medical Things. This consists of a variety of devices that have connection capabilities using wi-fi and applications. They are connected to healthcare IT systems. Using this technology is helping hospitals reduce costs and improve patients’ experience.

 

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As IoMT also depends on data collection for better efficiency, speed and bandwidth of the network are very important. This is where 5G can play a major role. Remote treatment of patients is becoming a possibility because of better connectivity. Doctors can perform surgery from remote locations. All these are possible only because of better data collection and connectivity as provided by 5G networks. More people are using wearable devices now for continuous monitoring of their health. Doctors can get faster information from these devices with the new superfast connection.

 

When more devices and equipment are connected it becomes easy to know the health conditions of people. Quick data collection from these devices is crucial for preventing diseases from escalating to serious conditions. 5G networks make it possible to collect more data at a much faster pace helping healthcare specialists to become aware of changes in disease conditions. Real-time mobile delivery of patient data will also become possible. Another area where healthcare will benefit hugely from 5G enabled IoT is in enhancing training for interns by incorporating augmented and virtual reality.

 

Making Cities Smarter

 

A term that is becoming increasingly common is “smart city”. We hear it everywhere and many countries have started converting cities. Smart cities are those where information is used to control and manage various resources. This can lead to a lot of savings and ensure the availability of services to all residents. There are many challenges in running a city and increasing population is only making it more complex. Various functions can be optimized by using information from connected devices. IoT is what helps to collect such data. Collecting details from more devices results in better management.

 

Parking is a problem in most crowded cities. Collecting information from available parking lots can make motorists find them easily. Such information can be gathered and sent to smartphones. Another important piece of information that can be collected on a real-time basis is regarding traffic. Knowing this can help divert vehicles and avoid delays. Ridesharing can also be optimized by using such technologies. This can result in reducing traffic and make movement smoother and faster. All this is possible with 5G-enabled IoT.

 

The distribution of power can be managed better. Street lights can be made to dim automatically if streets are empty. This will help in saving power. Garbage collection is another important function of city managers. Collecting data from various garbage bins can help in getting them cleared without delay. Fleet management is also easier with IoT. Connecting more surveillance cameras can make cities much safer. This will be possible only with 5G which allows for a large number of gadgets to be connected without any reduction in network speeds.

 

Improving Supply Chain Management

 

Supply chain management is an important part of any business dealing with goods. It is of utmost importance to know the location of raw materials and products at any point in time. Companies must also be able to inform customers about when they will receive their goods. Managing expensive warehouse space also comes under SCM. Managing all these simultaneously is not an easy job and requires a lot of information to be gathered and analyzed. IoT can make this process very easy.

 

IoT devices attached to goods can help know their exact location. One can also easily know their movement and approximate time when they will reach a destination. Goods that require special storage conditions like particular temperature, humidity, etc. can be monitored constantly using attached sensors. Knowing the exact time of arrival of raw materials helps in planning production in a better way. It is also possible to find which goods are remaining in a warehouse for a longer period. This information helps to save valuable storage space by a reduced purchase or production of such slow-moving items.

 

Implementing IoT is not easy if there is no fast network. When there are a lot of products it is also necessary to have a connection with higher bandwidth to collect data from all sensors and devices. Interference by radio and electrical signals can be a problem in many companies. The only solution for all these problems is to have a 5G connection. Its speed and high bandwidth will enable the quick collection of information from all products. This broadband connection is not affected by other signals and will continue to send data without interruption.

 

Challenges In Implementation Of 5G Network

 

We have seen how 5G applications can have a huge impact on almost all fields. It can change our lives drastically both personally and professionally. But unlike earlier upgrades of broadband connections, 5G has certain special requirements that need to be fulfilled if it should provide all the benefits promised by it. Only with this can all three advantages of this network viz speed, low latency, and connection density can be fully exploited.

 

Spectrum – 5G spectrum is not yet allocated in India. Spectrum with a higher frequency and larger bandwidths will be required for connecting a high number of devices. This is also a necessity for delivering high speeds to all these connections. RF spectrum is a limited resource and ways must be found to improve its efficiency to accommodate a high connection density.

 

Connecting Rural India – Connecting rural areas is a necessity if the country must take advantage of this superfast network. There are many advantages that villages can gain from this technology, like improved agriculture and healthcare. But to extend this service to rural areas an ungraded network infrastructure will be required.

 

Affordable 5G Devices – Although 5G enabled devices have started appearing in Indian cellular markets, they are all comparatively high-priced. People who are still using 3G and 4G mobile phones may show reluctance to buy these new handsets to avail of additional benefits offered by 5G connections.

 

Privacy And Security – Privacy issues have always cropped up ever since data transfers have begun. With 5G this can increase further. Core functionalities will now be pushed to the edges. It is more difficult to control and those intent on tampering will have an easier job at hand. Another security risk comes from the sheer number of connected devices, all of which may not be fully secured.

 

Wrapping Up

 

Despite doubts about when 5G will be launched in India, one can see that there is much excitement about this network. Businesses will surely push for an early deployment of this technology. It is advisable for IT professionals to acquire skills to work in a 5G enabled environment. Talentedge, India’s foremost ed-tech firm, offers highly informative online courses on this subject. Attending them could give you an edge over other job aspirants.

 

 

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