The 5G wireless standard will deliver a unifying connectivity fabric that will bring huge enhancements to today’s mobile broadband services, expand mobile networks to support a vast diversity of devices and services, and revolutionize the Internet of Things (IoT) making there a ton of 5G use cases.
Some popular 5G use cases are coming into focus as we approach 2020 (the year 5G networks are expected to be unleashed). The following are the most talked-about 5G use cases, focusing mainly on the broader categories of connected services.
Important 5G Use Cases
- Fixed Wireless: One of the top 5G use cases will be fixed wireless access. Some experts believe that mobile 5G will be several years out. Fixed wireless will provide Internet access to homes using wireless network technology rather than fixed lines. It will use 5G concepts such as millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum and beamforming to bolster wireless broadband services.
- Enhanced Mobile Broadband: The 5G standard promises to usher in the next era of immersive and cloud-connected experiences with faster, more uniform data rates at lower latency and lower cost per bit. The 5G standard will take mobile computing performance to the next level with high-speed, always-on, always-connected Internet links with real-time responsiveness. The goal is to reach up to 10 G/ps peak throughput and 1 G/ps throughput in high mobility. This category includes virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences.
- Massive IoT (or Massive Machine-Type-Communications): One of the most anticipated 5G use cases is the ability to seamlessly connect embedded sensors in virtually everything. The industry foresees huge numbers — as many as 50 billion — of potential IoT devices in service by 2020. Industrial IoT is one area where 5G will play a major role, from smart cities to asset tracking, to smart utilities, to agriculture.
- Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communications: This category includes new services that will transform industries with ultra-reliable/available low-latency links, such as remote control of critical infrastructure, and (popularly) self-driving vehicles. The level of reliability and latency will be vital to smart-grid control, industrial automation, robotics, drone control and coordination, and so on.
- Enhanced Event Experience: The enhanced event aspect of the 5G experience promises to offer close-to-the-action VR videos as being part of a given performance. This use case takes advantage of 5G to produce an ultra-high-fidelity media experience. The market potential for this use case is high, including overall increased revenue for venue owners.
Future 5G Use Cases
Once everything is connected via 5G, use case opportunities will increase enormously. The potential for further 5G use cases in future services and applications is tremendous. Watch for vertical industries and national priorities — from healthcare to smart cities, to remote industrial machine operation, to virtual sports attendance — to experience revolutionary changes.