5G accelerates IoT innovation across government operations

5G accelerates IoT innovation across government operations.

Government leaders and federal agencies are right to ask, “What can 5G do for my teams and the people we serve?” We could discuss coverage momentum—5G represents the fastest mobile communication technology deployment in history.¹ Or we could explore 5G’s ultra-low latency and high data transfer rates.
These details are important, but when you’re building government programs, it’s the impact that matters most. And you can’t talk about how 5G enhances government operations without focusing on how it unlocks Internet of Things (IoT) potential.

Real-world examples of IoT transformation in government.

From asset tracking to complete process automation, IoT devices deliver operational efficiencies. On the consumer side, smart appliances, Bluetooth devices, and activity trackers augment our lives with personalized experiences. IoT is ubiquitous, but until recently, it was still finding a foothold in government. Advanced 5G infrastructure is changing that.

Whether it’s a small workflow or an entire smart city, digital solutions must be reliable and accessible across thousands of people and devices. 5G coverage, capacity, and speed put cutting-edge IoT use cases within reach for government teams.

The following examples highlight how 5G and IoT power innovation today.

1. Expanding and improving health services for all.

Pew Research estimates that 85% of Americans own a smartphone.² That’s a powerful statistic for teams committed to improving the health of citizens. Telehealth is becoming a key investment to reach more people with quality care. T-Mobile® for Government has worked closely with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which has medical centers in cities nationwide, to improve telehealth experiences and implement IoT solutions to help make care more efficient.

In FY 2021, telehealth continued to expand to over 1.9 million veterans who received more than 9.5 million video visits to their homes, an increase of more than 146 percent when compared to FY 2020.

Dr. Leonie Heyworth, VA Telehealth Deputy Director for Clinical Services, shared, “Telehealth has continued delivery of high-quality outpatient VA services in the context of pandemic-related social distancing guidelines. In FY 2021, telehealth continued to expand to over 1.9 million veterans who received more than 9.5 million video visits to their homes, an increase of more than 146% when compared to FY 2020.

Beyond telehealth, healthcare organizations are deploying Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) devices to improve operational and clinical outcomes. Analytics programs are gathering data from sensors and devices across facility departments, reducing wait times and forecasting demand for lab tests.³ IoT also strengthens medical supply chains, managing the quality of life-saving medical resources like vaccines with temperature monitoring.

For those dedicated to public health and citizen well-being, the impact of 5G and IoT can’t be overstated. Government organizations are using industry partnerships to keep pace with changing community needs, ensuring greater patient access and improved operations across the healthcare value chain.

2. Climate resilience and infrastructure for change.

A recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)leaves no uncertainty: heatwaves, floods, droughts, and irreversible biodiversity losses are already reshaping our environments.4

Governments around the world are focused on building resilience. 5G and IoT provide solutions in critical areas like food resilience. For farmers, that means producing more food with fewer resources (water, fertilizer, pesticides, and more). How do you adapt? A technology-first approach helps. By pulling data from sensors, artificial intelligence can create predictive models to reduce risk and inefficiency. These systems can also monitor crops and soil conditions, providing farmers with real-time data to adjust and deploy resources—and even run farming tasks remotely.

Mark McDiarmid, Senior Vice President for Radio Network Engineering and Development at T-Mobile, succinctly explains 5G’s role: “With 5G, we’re standardizing new capabilities that will make sensors more reliable and optimized for low bandwidth—improving battery life. We can [manage] our environment more reliably, sensing and recording specific occurrences of change.”

Next, McDiarmid points to command-and-control capabilities, as well as process automation, that allow humans to focus on high-function tasks. These all rely on the network—low latency, increased capacity, and of course, broad coverage.

This kind of innovation is already underway. In partnership with Snohomish County, the 5G Open Innovation Lab, and others, T-Mobile created a state-of-the-art agriculture technology field lab at two farms in rural Washington state called the Food Resiliency Project. Funded by the CARES Act, the project brings together farmers, distributors, and technology companies to transform the agriculture industry and improve food resiliency.

Wireless technologies on 5G offer economical ways to manage renewable energy systems, even in harsh environments. As our climate changes, agility and speed will be critical to protecting and serving citizens.

3. Building more sustainable smart cities.

There’s no perfect definition of a smart city. Each one is a unique, complex ecosystem of technologies, geography, and people. And just as each landscape looks different, there’s no right way to “build” a smart city. You don’t need to overhaul every operational component to get started on making use cases valuable to citizens right now.

But it does help to look at areas that most benefit cost structures and quality of life.

Water preservation
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) reports that leaking pipes lost the equivalent of $7.6 billion of treated water in 2019.5 With 5G, leaks can be quickly detected using a smart water monitoring that collects real-time data on pipes, pumps, valves, motors, and more. Gathering watershed and treatment plant data, we can achieve a better understanding of pollution and quality issues, acting faster to address the root cause.6

Traffic and parking management
Road congestion keeps many cities from running smoothly. With an intelligent traffic signal control system, Metro21: Smart Cities Institute has been able to reduce idle times by 40%and greenhouse gas emissions by 25%.7 Cities are also tackling outdated parking systems. Cary, North Carolina recently used 5G-enabled IoT sensors to monitor parking spaces throughout the city. The city shares the data in an open portal, asking citizens to help shape practical, accessible solutions.8

Energy efficiency
Regional utilities are strategizing electric vehicle load management. Building operators are working to upgrade and retrofit for efficiency. City planners are adopting smart street lighting. Today more than ever, we need our cities to adapt as new technologies emerge to reduce our impact on the environment. 5G infrastructure is a key enabler, powering IoT solutions that make these new efficiency paradigms possible.

The right 5G infrastructure brings IoT possibilities to life.

Local, state, and federal government entities need technologies that can scale to meet the needs of large communities. 5G and IoT are changing how government programs and services operate, and perhaps most importantly, how citizens live their daily lives. With an expanding network of devices, sensors, and connected systems on 5G infrastructure, government teams are advancing their missions faster than ever before.

From healthcare to agriculture and city planning, the T-Mobile 5G network delivers proven infrastructure and customizable solutions for agencies and departments.

To learn more about how T-Mobile for Government is driving digital transformation and modernization for federal agencies, visit T-Mobile.com/FedGov, or call 1-877-386-4246 to speak with one of our government experts.

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