Connecting the Dots: How 5G is Revolutionizing IoT Networks
The advent of 5G technology has sparked a wave of excitement as its potential to connect smart cities and power various IoT applications becomes more apparent. With its promise of seamless connectivity, advanced sensors, powerful analytics, and data-driven capabilities, 5G holds the key to transforming our urban landscapes. However, amidst this enthusiasm, we must carefully consider the economic implications that come with such groundbreaking advancements.
A Challenge for Telcos: Balancing Connectivity and Practicality
For telecommunication companies, the question of whether 5G networks can effectively support the widespread deployment of IoT networks for smart cities and utilities is of paramount importance. Coverage, alongside support for devices requiring extended battery life, emerges as a significant pain point in the realm of 5G networks. The ability of these networks to provide comprehensive coverage while maintaining sufficient resilience becomes a critical factor in their success. IoT networks demand a network that remains continuously available, displaying an exceptional level of resilience.
5G: A Standalone Solution or a Piece of the Puzzle?
While 5G technology possesses immense potential, it falls short as a standalone solution when it comes to supporting networks that require uninterrupted operation in the face of power outages or extreme weather conditions like flooding and fires. Furthermore, the economic feasibility of achieving 100% coverage across an entire city or area, a prerequisite for IoT networks, remains a subject of scrutiny.
However, we have discovered that integrating 5G with companion technologies, such as wireless mesh, can alleviate these concerns. The City of London’s smart street lighting network serves as a testament to this integration, where narrow lanes, solid stone buildings, and towering structures made of glass and steel would typically pose connectivity challenges for many wireless communication technologies. Through the implementation of our Wi-SUN FAN wireless mesh technology, we complement cellular networks, ensuring reliable coverage and resilience.
Millions of Sensors, Infinite Possibilities: Unlocking the Potential of IoT Networks
Large-scale IoT networks can accommodate an array of sensors and devices, each generating modest amounts of data. These devices are often expected to operate autonomously, maintenance-free, for a decade or more, powered by primary batteries with a similar lifespan. However, direct connection to a 5G network raises concerns surrounding energy efficiency, data traffic patterns, and overall technology lifecycle.
The Cost Factor: Navigating IoT Deployment Economics
IoT deployments heavily rely on cost efficiency. Given the scale of these implementations, the initial device costs must be low, ongoing charges per device minimal, and the maintenance or replacement intervals prolonged. Unlike mobile handsets, where service contracts provide recurring revenue for telecom operators, IoT demands a distinct business model that ensures profitability for telcos while offering fair pricing to customers.
Enter the Companion Technology: Maximizing Efficiency through Data Aggregation
To strike the delicate balance between profitability and affordability, the incorporation of companion technologies becomes paramount. By connecting IoT network devices through a data concentrator, we can aggregate data from hundreds to thousands of devices onto the cellular network. This approach ensures low-cost IoT devices, eliminates the need for individual updates as the cellular infrastructure advances, facilitates deployment in challenging environments, and enables the cellular network to handle high data throughput for aggregated information.
The Future is Here: Unleashing the Potential of 5G and IoT Networks
As we witness the evolution of 5G technology, the possibilities for smart cities and IoT applications are becoming increasingly tangible. By addressing concerns related to coverage, resilience, and economic viability, telcos can play a pivotal role in driving the widespread adoption of IoT networks. Through the integration of companion technologies and the careful consideration of cost efficiency, we can unlock the true potential of 5G, paving the way for a connected and intelligent future.
CyanConnode CEO and Chairman said on his LinkedIn, “Maximizing Cost-Efficiency in Public Infrastructure for Smart Metering! At CyanConnode, we understand the importance of evaluating the economic impact of technology choices.
Integrating RF mesh networks with cellular connectivity emerges as a reliable and cost-effective solution. A recent article by Wi-SUN Alliance delves into the economic considerations of 5G and RF mesh integration for Smart Cities.
By leveraging RF mesh for data collection and utilizing cellular networks for transmission, smart metering #infrastructure can achieve seamless connectivity while optimizing cost efficiency.”
CyanConnode Holdings Plc (LON: CYAN) is a world leader in the design and development of Narrowband RF mesh networks that enable Omni Internet of Things (IoT) communications. With a wealth of expertise and experience in smart technology, the Group provides customers with long-range, low-power, end-to-end networking solutions and high-performance applications that help them enhance service delivery, improve business efficiency and save energy.