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5G, IoT and AI: The Work of Art and Technology at Play in 2021

We are witnessing a massive transformation in the technology space, courtesy convergence of 5G, IoT, and AI capabilities. While these are distinct technologies with niche applications, when combined together, they bring out the essence of working in a highly volatile Big Data economy. Not only do these have the power to transform the Telecom and Communications industry, but also the global pool of advanced electronics markets that so heavily relies on the latest innovations in internet connectivity, AI and Machine Learning.

According to IoT Analytics’ latest update on the overall enterprise IoT market, the spending on enterprise IoT solutions grew 12.1% in 2020 to $128.9 billion despite COVID-19 pandemic cutting opportunities across industries.

2021 IoT Spending - IoT Enterprise Spending 2020-2025
2021 IoT Spending – IoT Enterprise Spending 2020-2025 – by Philipp Wegner

AiThority Interview with Bob Parr, Chief Data Officer at KPMG

Why we need 5G, IoT and AI?

AI provides us with the ability to augment machine learning and make automation workflows more intelligent and cognitive toward human-centric goals.

IoT connects all the smart devices in a high-density network through a web of sensors, transmitters, and AI.

5G allows us to go hyper-quick with IoT networking, allowing us to massively scale up to 100x of what we currently achieve with 4G speeds.

According to Telenor, a 5G network [theoretically] will be able to handle 1,000,000 things over one square kilometer.

When 5G, AI, and IoT work in sync, they could lead to the innovation of new-age digital services that would disrupt the value chain of IT Operations, Cybersecurity, Computing, and customer experiences management / Digital experience management [CXM and DXM].

By combining 5G, AI, and IoT, you can embrace faster interoperability, trusted security, and an enhanced ROI in a fast-paced deployment ecosystem.

Top industries where these 3 technologies are already in use:

  • Retail Commerce
  • Manufacturing
  • Healthcare
  • Smart Infrastructure / Buildings
  • Travel and Hospitality
  • Mobility
  • Wearables and Digital signage
  • Cloud automation, and so on.

Top Interview: AiThority Interview with Matthew Sappern, CEO at PeriGen

Some latent facts: Powered by AI and 5G, enterprise users can actually improve the speed, latency, reliability, agility, and scalability of their smart devices and IoT-connected devices. Overall, 5G in Open RAN (O-RAN) era can actually save up to 70 percent of energy (that is often lost to the environment as wasted heat) and reduce the overall CO2 emissions to merely 17 tons from 70 tons.

For example, by upgrading to the latest, next-gen RAN, Nokia guaranteed further emissions reductions. As per its own admission, Nokia AirScale Base Stations have 60 percent lower energy consumption than Nokia’s previous generation radio access solution.

Modernizing a typical legacy base station site to Single RAN can achieve up to 70 percent energy saving and reduce its annual CO2 emissions from more than 70 tonnes to just 17 tonnes.

5G has the capacity to support a huge number of connections simultaneously while improving speed, latency, reliability, and power consumption for handsets and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Let’s understand these technologies one by one.

5G: Hyper scaling Data Analytics and Procurement 

5G has been cited as the fastest-growing mobile technology in history. Pandemic-related disruptions failed to put a brake on the 5G growth; the year 2020 belonged to 5G. The fifth generation of wireless 5G powered ahead at four times the speed of subscriber growth as 4G LTE, according to 5G Americas, the wireless industry trade association and voice of 5G and LTE for the Americas.

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Additionally, according to data provided by Omdia, the world added 225 million 5G subscribers between Q3 2019 and Q3 2020, a feat which required 4G LTE four years to attain. As of December 2020, there were 229 million 5G subscriptions globally, which represents an astonishing 66 percent increase over the last quarter – and is expected to reach 236 million globally by the end of 2020. On the other side, the number of connected devices is set to increase from 700 million to 3.2 billion by 2023.

This growth will pave the way for fast, innovative, and rapid developments in the IoT markets. 5G would promote innovation in many sectors and provide a framework for new technologies like IoT to become an integral component of our economy and lifestyle.

Joe Berti, VP Offering Management, AI Applications at IBM asserts, “5G is a fundamental platform that supports IoT, which expands the concept of real-time enterprises by connecting hundreds of sensors to provide live status updates (machines, alarms, different facilities, etc.). Understandably, Smart Manufacturing requires advanced, industrial robots that operate and communicate wirelessly in a safe and secure environment. These robots need a large bandwidth in order to transmit high-definition videos to complete precision analytics and other essential, manufacturing functions.”

How 5G Works?

5G is designed to deliver peak data rates up to 20 Gbps based on IMT-2020 requirements. However, 5G is more than just being fast. In addition to higher peak data speeds, the 5G network capacity is also being extended to include additional spectrum, including mmWave.

5G will also have much less time for a more timely response and provide an overall more uniform user experience to maintain consistently high data speeds even as users travel about. A Gigabit LTE coverage base, which can deliver ubiquitous Gigabit-class connectivity, supports the new 5G NR mobile network.

High-Speed Transfer Speeds

5G is ten times quicker than the existing LTE networks according to reports. This speed improvement will allow IoT devices to communicate and exchange data more easily than ever before. Ultimately IoT’s commercial success is related to its performance, based on how fast it can interact in the form of an app or website with other IoT devices, smartphones and tablets, apps, and more. 5G would greatly improve data transfer rates. For example, this improvement in speed helps to minimize delays in smart devices and to boost the overall speed at which connected devices send and receive data and alerts. Almost all IoT devices, including those with health care and industrial applications, benefit from faster speeds, in addition to smart home devices and edge computing.

“5G’s low latency, high download speeds, and massive capacity can dramatically increase the number of devices that can be supported in near real-time within the same geographic area. When combined with edge computing’s decentralized architecture that brings technology resources closer to where data is processed, both solutions decrease response time and increase processing speeds and reliability. Accordingly, innovative applications such as remote control robots and near real-time cognitive video analytics are now possible for the first time, ever,” says Joe.

Integration with AI

AI and 5g are co-depended on each other for future developments. 5G provides the infrastructure and large volume of data AI requires to thrive and AI offers the opportunity to grasp the chaos and difficulty of 5G, powered by advances in machine learning.

Joe also talked about the role of AI models such as IBM’s Watson in the situation. He says, “Watson’s role is vital to this transformation because it helps industrial enterprises improve operations, optimize production quality and enhance worker safety through a curated set of products called Watson Works. Watson Works embeds AI models and applications to assist businesses of all types in navigating various aspects of the return-to-workplace challenge. It provides essential, data-driven insights to help employers make informed decisions on workplace re-entry and safety, facilities management, space allocation, and other COVID-related priorities.”

While Tami Erwin, Group CEO at Verizon says, “While 5G and AI individually are transforming industries such as manufacturing, together they are enabling more near-real-time communications and responses and enhanced user experiences, among other things.”

Business IoT

In an era of “anywhere automation and computing” we need 5G, IoT, and AI to work in our favor. The rise of Conversational AI (CAI) platforms, in addition to virtual contact centers and Open source DevOps, have put 5G-based AI projects on a faster track. Companies are looking to reorganize their “technology mesh” to adapt and evolve in order to accelerate digital transformation across departments, especially in marketing, sales, and employee experience centers.

According to Gartner, organizations can accelerate digital business strategy to drive faster digital transformation by becoming more agile and “make quick business decisions informed by currently available data.” 5G, AI, and IoT engineering could facilitate this process.

In addition to facilitating technical growth, 5G-enabled IoT is projected to lead to the support of 22 million workers worldwide. It is predicted that this development will benefit from the digitalization of transport, agriculture, business, and other physical industries. Construction areas, mines, oil derricks, and freighter floors are part of the consideration. The ultra-fast data transfer in these industries greatly profits from their time-sensitive output. 5G will drive the creation of intelligent machines and intelligent processing. It would allow IoT to do almost instant traffic monitoring, boost protection, and public safety, and potentially allow remote operation.


AR & VR Innovations have opened new approaches to managing fields such as agriculture, gaming, advertising, automobiles, and health facilities, encouraging productivity to be improved as a whole. The convergence of 5G access networks, edge networking, distributed, high-performance 5G core features, and modern system shape factors improve these new use cases.

A World of Possibilities

5G is essential for the Internet of Things because of the need for a quicker and more connectivity-friendly network. The 5G range extends the frequencies of data transmission through wireless cell technology. This larger choice for usage improves the total mobile network capacity which allows for connectivity to extra devices, systems, and devices. 5G will play a big role in the fourth industrial revolution in a wider context, as the borders between the digital and the real realms blur.

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