The fifth generation mobile network, otherwise known as 5G, will boost interconnectivity and lead to many new technological advances, so it’s no surprise that it’s the current tech buzzword. A lot of people realize that things will change when the network becomes widespread, but few realize how connected it is to geospatial technology.
5G will further artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and automation capabilities. Large files will easier to download, send, and store on the Cloud. 4K video streaming will be fast and accessible. Incredible bandwidth, low latency, and increased connectivity will be results of the new network, but how will it affect and be affected by geospatial technology?
Accurate Spatial Data
Governments will use 5G to design better cities, but it won’t be possible without accurate location information provided by combining geospatial technology and 5G. As our cities become more efficient, location data will be needed in real time. 5G’s higher frequencies are needed to carry large amounts of data and have very short ranges that can be impacted by small obstructions.
In fact, the signal is so sensitive that I can be blocked by a hand or drops of rain. This is why effective, accurate, and authoritative geospatial data is fundamental to the network. Requiring denser telecom network, 5G will need more towers placed in strategic and selective areas. Accurate geodata is necessary, but so is advanced spatial analytics from tools like Esri.
A new report from the Ordnance Survey determined that the most cost-effective and simple way for the UK to adopt the 5G network is with the creation of what they call a Digital Twin. This report highlights the significance of spatial planning to make a cost effective 5G network. This includes high resolution and geospatial data integrated with a range of other information types that are served with a functionally-rich planning tool.
Street furniture, vegetation, and weather conditions all play a significant role in this. A digital twin will be incorporated in 30 datasets to create a single 3D image of a city. The live digital environment allows the authorities to understand and address challenges of rolling out 5G.
5G in the US vs. the UK
Since 5G will lead to many technological advancements, the race to set up the network is on. Not only is the competition between companies like Huawei and Apple, it is between their governments. The United States has banned Huawei, who is setting up 5G networks across the UK. The concern is that the Chinese government is using Huawei to surveil its users and spy on government officials.
This has caused problems between the UK and the US. According to MoneyPug, which is a website used to compare mobile phones, six out of the seven cities in the UK that are live with 5G from Vodafone have been set up by Huawei, and if the Chinese firm doesn’t help run the network it will put the UK behind.
Huawei and other phone companies are busy creating products to begin using 5G, but if the geospatial technology isn’t combined with the 5G network, it won’t be as successful. Huawei is ahead of many telecom companies in both the network and the geospatial technology.
5G Affecting Geospatial Data
Spatial data is instrumental to 5G, but 5G will also affect geospatial data. 5G base stations will be synchronized to each other within nanoseconds, which will improve the positional accuracy for self-driving cars and intelligent traffic management systems. Working more closely with the geospatial industry will be important in the coming years of 5G technology.
5G will change the world, but it won’t be able to do so without geospatial data and strong networks. It will significantly impact the overall mobile network infrastructure and influence the traditional concepts as well. The value of location-based service industries such as advertising, marketing, transportation, and retail will only increase the 5G rollout and the subsequent expansion of high-speed internet technologies.
To progress and move forward with the technology, 5G telecommunication infrastructure must be stable, secure, and reliable. To support an enormous amount of applications and services, accurate geospatial data is essential. Accurate geodata and advanced spatial analytics are crucial to the planning of this new network. Without them it will not be as fast or accurate. Those who set up the geospatial infrastructure and 5G network will win out in the end. Those who plan ahead will make a lot of money and find themselves in unique positions of power.