Just as mobile technology continues to be of major significance to those in construction, 5G will take an increasingly critical role. The use of mobile technology on the jobsite will only continue to increase in significance. Globally, information technology and communication in the construction industry investments hit $7.6 billion in 2020. The commitment to increasing the use of mobile tech is evident with these types of expenditures forecast to increase each year through 2025.
The newest generation of tech-savvy construction workers expects the latest cutting-edge technology for use in the field. Looking ahead, companies that use mobile, wearables, and Internet of Things technologies on the job may have a leg up in recruiting and retaining the next generation of workers.
In addition to the benefits provided by adopting a more mobile centric way of managing day-to-day tasks on the jobsite, the 5G revolution is kicking the benefits of mobility up another notch. 5G has greatly improved the performance of wireless networks. Not only does communication in the construction industry benefit from faster wireless speeds, an increase in reliability, security, and greater coverage, but the different layers of 5G wireless bands provide better performance and cost-efficiency across use cases.
Let’s explore how some of the different layers of 5G network could support the construction industry.
- Low-band 5G has great range and is not affected by obstacles, allowing for greater geographic coverage. It is used above ground for construction site communication and provides long-distance connectivity to vehicles to monitor bad driving, to prevent unauthorized workers in a lockout/tagout (LOTO) area, to transmit digital forms, track valuable equipment assets, and other uses.
- Mid-band 5G balances speed and range, covering a broader area larger than high-band. Mid-band provides faster speeds and greater capacity than low-band and a much larger coverage area than high-band millimeter-wave spectrum. Mid-band construction connectivity is ideal for data capture for OSHA compliance reporting, helping ensure worker safety with real-time monitoring. In addition, it can make it easier to manage and train people remotely.
- High-band 5G (mmWave) covers a small area with super-fast data transmission but can’t penetrate walls, which could be a benefit for those deploying private networks in buildings. Currently, high-band is primarily used for venues with large groups of people, such as a football stadium.
As 5G continues to make an impact on how we do business now and, in the future, mobile technology also continues to develop and grow. Let’s look at four ways that better, faster, and more specialized mobile technology solutions may enhance field communications in the future as 5G evolves, and the bottom line for communication in the construction industry today.