5G is the next biggest thing for the tech industry. Its data and bandwidth capabilities will exceed its predecessor, 4G, and bring information to the people. In urban areas, especially adopting smart city technology, 5G will create new opportunities and efficiency. From the Internet of Things (IoT) to automation, 5G, and smart cities have a special connection that will bring about innovative change.
The rise of smart cities
Smart cities are urban areas that integrate technology to its fullest capacity. On public, governmental and economic levels, tech has the power to create an efficient landscape. Whether it’s IoT sensors or artificial intelligence (AI), smart cities use it all. The end goal is the benefit the people — it’s how you benefit from the simple things in cities like improved traffic patterns.
Enter 5G. For cellular data networks, 5G is the latest and greatest advancement. With the beginning of its rollout in 2019, 5G will be reaching various corners of the world in the coming years. Since smart cities rely on the best technology, it’s now only fitting that they incorporate 5G technology.
Smart city 5G will bring about faster connectivity and more data. Though it may sound simple, those two factors are the main forces that lead to a significant change in a city. For instance, think about a city’s end goals.
A smart city works for the public. With constant innovations, things like public health, transportation, and urban infrastructure need to fit people’s needs. Unfortunately, these areas run into impediments like pollution, traffic congestion, and safety issues. With almost 70% of the world’s population living in cities by 2050, 5G is here to help.
What 5G and smart cities can do together
Smart city 5G must operate on different levels to bring about urban change. From the government to city infrastructure, there must be more integration. IoT sensors and networks are already part of what makes a city smart. For instance, sensors on street signals and lights help optimize traffic flows. Now, 5G most be the foundation for connection.
Cars are a primary source of pollution for cities — and they cause congestion as well. Further, the number of vehicles worldwide will double by 2040, adding to this issue. Smart 5G alternatives include improving public transit. Optimizing wait times, travel times, and efficiency are all possible with rapid 5G connections.
Hubs for communication to send and receive data are crucial, too. The data travels through the 5G network to its destination much faster than it would with 4G service. With this data, city officials and policymakers can then act upon the information.
For example, changing the city infrastructure is an actionable step from 5G data. Architects, urban designers, and engineers can work together to create a landscape that works for everyone. Walkability and public housing can be central focuses, alongside transit that brings residents around the city.
Public safety, as well, can benefit from 5G and smart cities integrating together. Using drones and street cameras with 5G capabilities will transmit data in real-time so that emergency services can respond appropriately and immediately.
Each part of the city ultimately works together to bring about the best experience for residents and visitors. Naturally there are also many use cases aimed at improving the quality of life as well as improving the wellbeing of individuals.
Signs of integration
With such powerful benefits for citizens, cities must start integrating 5G technology soon. The good news is that some cities are already on the right track.
Often, critics and experts point to Singapore as one of the smartest cities in the world. With its progressive housing policies, environmentally-friendly initiatives, and tech integration, it is on its way to 5G capabilities. New York, London, and Tokyo have all also made 2020’s smartest city list.
On a smaller scale, industries of all kinds can integrate 5G technology. Using its data and speed, any company can thrive in terms of communication and outreach. For instance, tourism will benefit from communication hubs in cities. These tech-based locations provide information about events, sites, and resources — all while translating across languages.
The possibilities are seemingly endless on any scale — whether it’s the entire urban area or small spots throughout the city.
Connectivity is the recurring theme with 5G and smart cities. There is more and more data in the world every day. With the speed and efficiency potential of 5G, this connectivity can then become hyperconnectivity — bringing information to the people faster and more accurately than ever.
Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Wilmer Martinez. The Vivid Lights festival photo has been taken by Hugh Han. The image “man in black hoodie” has been prepared by Roman Denisenko. The photo “woman holding her bag” in front of the Bolsheokhtinsky bridge was shot by Alexey Turenkov.
Source: Microsoft blog / Jason Carolan (Forbes) / UN / Kathy Pretz (IEEE Spectrum) / Matthew Nitch Smith (WEF) / Caitlin McGarry (Tom’s Guide) / Verizon information / Sharmishta Sivaramakrishnan (WEF) / IESE Business School (Forbes)
Editorial notice: The images are symbolic and don’t represent any existing technology or concepts.