The Coming of 5G in and its Geospatial Implications

The new 5G telecommunications standard is here and it will accelerate interconnectivity across a range of multiple wireless devices. It has improved speed of data transmission, much reduced latency and allows more devices to connect simultaneously to the same network.

This means that current tracking technology is on the verge of a giant leap forward, with live updates becoming much more precise, and opening a whole new world of bid data to analyze and improve upon. Many consider this will usher the age of the Internet of Things. One can imagine the performance of such a network if deployed at a large scale, with integrated features. Live traffic maps can be much more reliable. But to the average user, it will simply streamline the general experience of wireless interlinking such as streaming video content and playing high-definition videogames. Users can expect less network interruptions and an overall higher quality.

Illustration giving examples of different appliances for the Internet of Things (Source: World Economic Forum)

What matters is the impact it will have on the Geospatial industry. First, a huge effort will be required for the rollout of 5G with an extended coverage. Given that antennas must be closer one to another, it will take more detailed studies to determine their location, especially in an urban environment. Then, the sheer amount of data will likely exponentially increase with this new technology. Finally, the plethora of newly connected devices will give geospatial engineers much to work with. The future of the profession is exciting, and geographers, definitely have something to look forward.


The Geospatial Convergence: 5G and the Future of Wireless Technology