5G Is Almost Here. But Is It Enough To Support the Internet of Things?
As Business Insider reported, the 5G internet connection was developed for the same reasons that 3G and 4G internet connections were built: “to keep up with the proliferation of devices that need a mobile internet connection.”
3G wireless connections appeared when smartphones and tablets began dominating the cellphone scene; 4G connections popped up around the time that “wearable tech” was introduced to the average American household.
Additionally, Phys.org says, 5G will allow for faster downloads while increasing connections rates and decreasing energy usage. It’s perhaps not the most exceptional development the tech industry has ever seen, but all of these small improvements are intended to make it easier for consumers to connect.
And this is exactly the problem: wireless technology is no longer limited to mobile devices like phones or tablets. The Internet of Things (IoT) is starting to connect virtually every item imaginable.
You can lock your car doors hundreds of miles away from home, using a cell phone app. Your smart thermostat “knows” when to turn the heat on because it tracks and analyzes activity within your home. Barbie’s Dream House has somehow turned into Barbie’s Smart House (which is a little scary for some parents).
Research from Gartner shows that around 6.4 billion “connected things” are expected to be up and running on the IoT, which would be 30% of “connected things” in 2015. By 2020, this number is likely to reach 20.8 billion “connected things.”
So is the new 5G internet connection up to the challenge?
The new 5G improvements might be valuable for those “things” that are already connected — but will it be able to provide enough support for all of the “things” that will become connected in the coming years? Only the growing population of Internet of Things designers will be able to answer that question.