5G is a popular and in-demand capability among consumers and businesses eager to benefit from its performance advantages compared to Wi-Fi and earlier generations of cellular technology.
“When you talk about innovation, it’s not just how fast my iPhone can download my Facebook page,” says Samson. “It’s really thinking beyond the phone and about all of the different capabilities.”
For businesses across industries—like healthcare, entertainment, retail, and others—5G offers flexibility for a wide range of use cases and application requirements. Of course, different businesses can have dramatically different requirements. “Some have incredibly high bandwidth demands; some need very low latency,” says Samson. “With 5G, you can have all of these, tailored to a specific need.”
In transportation and logistics, 5G can better connect fleets of trucks on the open road, and orchestrate vehicles, goods, and wearables on people in a dynamic Internet of Things (IoT) network. Synthesizing those 5G-enabled data streams can offer more timely analytics and forecasting opportunities for business planners, including technologies like digital twins to further optimize routes and delivery windows.
5G may also facilitate the transition to assisted or self-driving long-haul trucking fleets. As operations get closer to 24/7 uptime, the daily range of a single vehicle might grow from 600 miles without automation to 1,200 miles with it.
Small fleets of self-driving trucks already operate in controlled environments, like landfills. Until recently, most of these industrial systems were running on Wi-Fi or mesh networks, but 5G is emerging as a potentially better alternative because of its broad geographic reach. Elsewhere, companies are testing autonomous trucks for curbside garbage collection. 5G is perfectly suited to the task with its potential for citywide coverage, ultra-low latency, and even signal propagation through building walls and other obstacles.