5G Powered Smart Cities: How Far Are We?
The 5G technology has started being implemented into multiple industries across the world, but one question still remains. Can 5G-powered cities become a reality, and how far are we from achieving it? With the current rate of 5G implementation to every possible industry and sector, transforming a city into a smart city is very likely to happen, and it might not take a long time. Simple applications that require connectivity can be served by using a fiber network and a wifi router, with minimal special features required in the network.
Telecommunications companies, serving as the primary connectivity providers for the city, tend to position smart cities solutions as original within their capabilities. As smart city applications begin to mature, they are more demanding of resilient, low-latency connectivity, which may be closer to the mark due to the 5G’s prowess to provide all the requirements.
First, we must know what defines a smart city and all it entails. The European Commission defines a smart city as “a place where traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital and telecommunication technologies for the benefit of its inhabitants and business”. The widespread availability of new technologies is required to transform a normal city into a smart one to reach high levels of sustainable urban development and improve the quality of life for its people. A smart city utilizes the Internet of Things (IoT) to collect real-time data, which is being used to better understand how demand patterns are constantly changing, and thus responds with faster and lower-cost solutions.
Generally, the ecosystem of a digital city is designed to run on ICT frameworks that will connect several networks of a multitude of devices, such as mobile devices, sensors, connected cars, home appliances, and data centers. IoT trends also suggest that by 2025, the number of connected devices worldwide will rise to an astonishing number of 75 billion. This goes to show that the fast rate of the 5G technology integration will make it sooner rather than later to achieve a proper smart city.
As we all know, the 5G is the most immersive piece of network technology ever to exist, surpassing any kinds of previous wide-area wireless or mobile networks. 5G networks are denser than the 4G networks and while they retain a similar distribution to 4G networks, the 5G are equipped with intermediate antennas that persist and boost signals significantly, resulting in an extraordinary yield.
One of the most powerful features the 4G brings is that it could support up to 2,000 devices per square km. However, the 5G can support much higher numbers with up to a million devices. This alone has made it clear that 4G is not up to the task and 5G is the network that can transform a city into a smart city. The most exciting and promising factor of the 5G network is its ability to provide ground-breaking innovations inevitably. Cities all over the world are eager to team up with service providers for enterprise incubation and new technology implementation that are geared towards better city operations and living.
In order to make this a reality, there are three crucial aspects to note, such as connectivity that is provided by the network, a computer environment that is provided by cloud partners, and data services and tools. The environment clearly demands interconnected, high-performance data systems that understand the pulse of the city and adapt it into real time, improved processes, and exceptional citizen experiences.
In its essence, 5G sparks the construction of smart cities from the theory lane into the practical, and it also paves the way for the development and deployment of new applications ranging from air quality monitoring, energy usage and traffic patterns to street lighting, smart parking, crowd management, and even emergency services.
Furthermore, a smart city utilizes digital solutions, such as technology and data, to significantly improve several key quality of life indicators. This will lead to more improved traffic and its commute time, accelerated emergency response time, low healthcare costs, decreased water consumption, unrecycled waste and its harmful emissions, and ultimately the potential for huge savings. All of this will bring about new business opportunities for companies providing services and applications to manage the ever-complex IoT ecosystems and convert data into smart insights.
A smart city that once just seemed like an impossible dream has now become the project for the future. With the 5G technology, it will be sooner rather than later that smart cities all over the world emerge.
VIAVI Solutions has the confidence to implement new fiber networks or execute quality assurance on existing networks and assist you with 5G validation, 5G testing, and 5G visibility in pursuit of more reliable networking. VIAVI offers end-to-end network solutions through 350+ global Channel Partners to meet your needs. Visit our website or contact us for more information.