May 19, 2020

The IoT and 5G landscape – revisited

It only seems like yesterday that we shared our blog how secure is your fridge? about how IoT (Internet of Things) was predicted to grow by 31 billion worldwide. This growth has continued to rise with Statista predicting that by 2025 the installed base of IoT devices is forecasted to grow to almost 75.44 billion worldwide. which probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to most.

In this ever changing connected society we live in, tech vendors are looking for big businesses to be more operationally efficient and potentially keep up with the demand of the consumer. These businesses operate in a very competitive market place so any advantage over the competition is key to their overall bottom line.  When we talk about IoT we need to think of the infrastructure to support this demand.  Ultimately this means we need a faster infrastructure to be able to deliver it…enter 5G.

The mobile landscape and 5G

Let’s take a quick look at the mobile landscape. We know that 2G delivers the voice element for a mobile phone (it’s intended purpose from the outset), 3G typically delivers voice and data access over a mobile phone network and more recently 4G delivers voice over LTE (Long Term Evolution) and a faster data speed, hence the emergence of the smartphone.  Imagine what 5G will be able to do in enabling IoT on a grander scale. Therefore to put into context 5G will provide 1000 times higher wireless capacity and more varied service capabilities compared to those in 2010. Think of every consumable item (kettle’s n all’!!) having some form of connectivity to the Internet. Scary eh! If you didn’t already know it most are today!

The emergence of COVID-19 means that connectivity for the vast majority is even more critical.  The traditional networks are in the main going to need to lean on 5G capabilities and flexibility to a) relax the strain on those networks and b) increase the reach of having good, reliable bandwidth to cope with the ever increasing demand being created from an increase in remote working.

In addition to this rise of IoT the reality of Autonomous cars will no longer be something of a Hollywood movie. Imagine IoT within healthcare, emergency services using drones to provide vital resources to patients when they cannot arrive at a critical health incident quick enough. Adding sensors to medicines to allow healthcare professionals to track how well a patient is sticking to their treatment, potential new services like track and trace requirements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The managing of power grids, the main arteries of our critical transport infrastructure including, bridges, ports and train services.  The real-time notification and trending analysis will provide the vital information for operational teams to respond or act upon which will drive more efficiency and speedier responses and ultimately save lives.  The Government have already invested millions into 5G trials.  These trials will only highlight the benefits 5G technology will have across the country and allow the UK to take an early advantage by using new applications 5G networks can enable.

So what does all this mean to you and me?

In conclusion, If the future is  “anything that can be connected, will be connected” (Forbes) then we need to be more aware of the security risks that surround both the corporations operation and our increasing demand of applications, especially those that might contain your crown jewels and your password! The dangers of all these are there for all to see.


Editors note: This post was originally published in (December 2017) and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.



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