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It could help accelerate innovations such as automated food trucks and driverless cars more generally.
But what will it mean for public safety?
Verizon, a HERE partner, surveyed 700 business leaders from diverse sectors including sport and entertainment, manufacturing, and healthcare. The company wanted to understand how the business world plans to take advantage of 5G technology.
It found that 55% of those surveyed had heard, read, or seen a lot about 5G, and 80% said they believe it will create new opportunities for their companies.
Government and public sector decision-makers highlighted a host of uses linked to public safety. A total of 36% said they thought 5G will have a transformative impact on cybersecurity, for instance.
Find out how HERE Geodata Models makes building your network easier.
Decision-makers in the public sector said they thought real-time video surveillance and faster data transfer to and from first responders to be the most valuable applications of 5G.
Getting information in real-time from first responders can help authorities plan their response to a crisis better. 5G can also be used to get information that first responders need to them more quickly when speed is of the essence.
One of the advantages of 5G is its low latency. That means the time it takes to ping the network and receive a response is faster than 4G and WiFi. 5G is likely to reach speeds that are 20 times faster than 4G LTE. 4G LTE has a peak speed of 1GB per second, while 5G could theoretically achieve speeds of 20GB per second.
Another intriguing possibility is the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to power technology for first responders.
An example is an AR helmet for firefighters which has been developed by Qwake called the C-Thru. It uses thermal imaging so the wearer can see through smoke and darkness and rapidly locate victims. In the future, according to CNET, an artificial intelligence assistant could filter through the noise of a fire including crackling flames to get the information that firefighters need to them.
C-Thru needs 5G for its next round of updates and is going through a round of tests with Verizon now.
Drones and connected ambulances could also all be powered by 5G in the future. Barcelona is already working on 5G-connected ambulances.
5G could boost technology that supports first responders.
Faster speeds mean that crowds could be monitored in real-time, which is one of the benefits highlighted by 74% of public sector decision-makers in the Verizon report as being of value.
There are also ways in which 5G technology could be used to improve services provided by local authorities.
For instance, networks of sensors and computers that analyze real-time data can be used to improve water availability, air quality, and energy efficiency in towns and smart cities.
The report also points out that public transport can be made more efficient with advanced vehicle-to-vehicle communications.
These communications, made possible by the low latency and fast processing power of 5G, can also improve road safety by helping vehicles to automatically avoid collisions.
Communications between vehicles and infrastructure, through sensors on important structures such as bridges and traffic lights, can improve traffic control.
5G could help the world's economies recover from the effects of the pandemic.
The adoption of 5G in business is well underway. However, a lot of the infrastructure needed to implement the improvements mentioned in the Verizon report is still being rolled out.
Many see it as vital to economic recovery post-COVID-19.
Verizon Business CEO Tami Erwin told Tech Republic: “These findings underscore the critical role 5G will play in economic recovery and growth."
Where it also plays a crucial role is in helping network planners decide where 5G towers and other infrastructure should be sited in the first place.
HERE Geodata Models has been designed to help telecommunications companies make these decisions. It is a highly precise and scalable 3D digital representation of the buildings, trees, and roadside objects including streetlights, utility poles, and other items which make up the physical environment surrounding 5G antennas.
The aim is to speed up the deployment of 5G technology and lower costs for the telecommunications industry. It is estimated to reduce network planning costs by 40% and lower network planning lead time by 25%.
Network planners and radio frequency engineers can use HERE Geodata Models to remotely conduct field surveys and precisely plan where to locate 5G antennas for optimal signal coverage and line-of-sight modeling.
Accelerate your switch to 5G with accuracy in network planning and design, saving time and money during deployment.