Despite the enormous potential, 5G-connected IoT devices are not as widespread as we would have expected a few years ago. Despite the enormous potential, 5G-connected IoT devices are not as widespread as we would have expected a few years ago.
IoT 5G, Promises Vs Reality
And to say that the IoT and the whole side of connected devices were one of the most promising aspects for the take-off of 5G. The idea of a world filled with millions and millions of networked objects exchanging wireless data at the speed of light was on everyone’s lips. The data portability revolution, from augmented reality glasses to surveillance cameras, has not become a reality. At least not in the size expected or hoped for in the 5G vulgate a few years ago.
Slow take off
Analysts say that the slow take-off of non-smartphone gadgets was expected but up to a certain point during the 5G rollout. Device manufacturers and network operators tend to replace smartphones and cell towers when a new cellular generation arrives, such as 5G. Only once the new standard is established do they turn to other growth segments, such as the IoT.
What Economic Logic?
The slowness this time around, however, also illustrates how some IoT device users still don’t see the financial logic in the 5G upgrade. For example, healthcare professionals who use IoT devices to care for patients or companies that use devices to track employee work habits are largely comfortable with the connectivity of their existing devices. Many still don’t see that the features offered by 5G, especially higher data rates, are worth the price of an upgrade. Most are not using 5G technology because the return on investment hasn’t come.
5G, It Takes A Long Life For The Battery, But The Devices Do Not Have It Yet
Another factor weighing 5G is that some of the more powerful new applications in the Internet of Things require long battery life that 5G devices cannot offer. For example, farmers have started implementing wireless soil moisture sensors to regulate irrigation. But these devices are cheaper and easier to manage when they run on long-lasting batteries and rely on older connectivity technology. The same constraint applies to many smart city devices, such as parking meters that work with solar cells, and to retail industry applications, such as digital price tags.
Bluetooth And WiFi
5G technology is promising, he says, but battery drain issues combined with high cost could be a lasting brake on its growth. For customers of these devices, 5G connectivity costs too much compared to other cheap technologies such as Bluetooth, WiFi and other means of exchanging data wirelessly. Some applications are perfect for mobile and 5G, and others will never be candidates.
Only The Beginning
However, some of 5 G’s staunchest advocates are convinced that the wave of the Internet of Things is only just beginning. Headsets for augmented and virtual reality are becoming increasingly popular and freed from clunky computers. Several industries are starting to use 5G to control machinery in the factory to minimize downtime when they want to move these machines around.
Businesses are now expected to eventually use 5G more and more, equipping employees with more connected devices to help them work and keep track of what they do. For Qualcomm, a major proponent of the move to 5G, the growth of IoT devices is part of the second phase of the larger 5G story, which is still in its infancy. The technical standards define what 5G is being updated over time to cater to non-phone gadgets, which 5G advocates hope will kickstart the market.
The expansion of 5G is tied to all kinds of new use cases and, in turn, the creation of new types of devices that didn’t exist in the 4G era. Issues like the Covid-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions caused by it have been another unforeseen obstacle to the Internet of Things market, limiting the growth of 5G-enabled devices. Despite these problems, IDC still predicts that there will be 187 million 5G IoT connections in the United States by 2026, an exponential growth trajectory supporting the industry’s bullish case.
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