Innovation in past years is rapidly leading to a world where 5G, IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), and other advanced technologies are becoming the norm. Because of these advances, a unique technological ecosystem is evolving, changing how key market sectors operate in the global economy, including data centers, industrial manufacturing, and transportation. These sectors will see drastic changes as societies worldwide begin to scale their smart technology to meet the demands of the future.
Data Centers and Smart Connectivity
It is estimated that there are currently 26 billion connected devices around the globe, and experts are predicting this number to grow to 75 billion in just four more years. This increase leads to a particular problem: current 4G networks simply cannot handle the resulting increase in bandwidth. There are many areas where 4G is already failing to adequately meet customer demands, as HD quality media, streaming services, and ongoing smartphone penetration are generating vast increases in traffic.
On the other hand, smart connectivity such as 5G will increase speeds — up to 100x faster than 4G — and drastically increase bandwidth, advance cloud compatibility, better responsiveness, and enhance reliability. 5G and IoT will also change how society uses data and devices, as most processing will be shifted to the cloud. The cloud is where instantaneous, low-latency data transfer can occur and will lead to the elimination of many of the internal storage limitations that frustrate users of portable and wearable devices.
Having data centralized in the cloud will allow people to be fully connected, regardless of where they are physically located. Implementing AI technology into these networks will also provide critical benefits, such as enabling optimal performance regardless of the device used and allowing for ease in new service and upgrade rollouts. Bug fixes, patches, and other security-related updates will be far easier to implement, thus enhancing cybersecurity.
Industrial Manufacturing and Smart Connectivity
Industrial manufacturing is another key market sector impacted by smart connectivity. Technology advances will significantly enhance the current industrial automation trends by providing increased data capabilities, better cloud storage capabilities, and very low network latency. Combining 5G with modern sensors and data acquisition systems will supply industrial manufacturing facilities with a plethora of data. This data can be used to improve the efficiency of automated industrial processes and robotics, support condition monitoring and predictive maintenance, enhance employee safety, and lead to more reliable products.
For example, by leveraging IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) and cloud technology, automated production lines can sense an error in a manufacturing process and either self-correct or provide an alert for a technician to intervene. This process improves quality control and catches problems before they make it through production. The same technology can also detect issues that could lead to harm to other equipment or employees.
Transportation and Smart Connectivity
Smart connectivity will also significantly impact transportation in several critical areas, including overall traffic efficiency and enhanced driver safety. For example, 5G networks will transmit real-time data such as traffic density, vehicle speed, road conditions, and weather from roadside sensors. When coupled with smart car computer technology, such systems can leverage vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication technologies to improve transportation by adjusting travel routes and preemptively preventing collisions.
Once automotive AI technology and software advances to the point that reliable self-driving cars are more common, the sensors on these vehicles will work in tandem with roadside sensors to further enhance safety and traffic control. V2X and automotive AI will also save consumers money through driverless public and private transportation, as less money will be tied up in both training and paying drivers. The future of delivery looks to be taking early advantage of these transportation market innovations via autonomous robots, drones, and driverless vehicles.
The Benefits of Intelligent Connectivity
While there remains plenty of work to do until industries can truly consider themselves in the era of smart connectivity, advanced technologies such as 5G, IoT, IIoT, AI, and V2X are speeding up the process. As such innovations continue to advance and evolve, our world will become more interconnected than ever before. And because of benefits such as improved efficiency, lower network latency, and near-instantaneous sharing of data, market sectors such as data centers, manufacturing, and transportation will also be changed for the better.