A new study has identified 2023 as a major turning point for 5G IoT (Internet of Things) communications globally, and the next three years are set to see these connections come into their own.
Juniper Research estimates that there are already 17 million 5G IoT connections worldwide this year, however the number is set to expand by 1,100% over the next three years to the point where 116 million connections will be active in 2026.
The research expects the healthcare sector and smart city services to make up the bulk of these connections.
Internet of Things via 5G
Besides these two major categories, other IoT areas include the automotive industry, mobile broadband, and smart homes. However, Juniper believes that healthcare and smart cities will account for nearly two-thirds of IoT devices by 2026.
He cites the extremely low latency and high bandwidth typical of 5G connections as some of the main drivers behind the significant growth that has been projected.
Of the expected 116 million connections, the research study indicates that 60 million connections will come from smart city connections. Transport networks, both road and rail, are set to benefit from the improvements that 5G can offer over 4G technology.
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Juniper also pointed to the shortcomings in our healthcare systems that were exposed during the pandemic, citing the need for modernization. Remote real-time monitoring of connected ambulances and other emergency services is one such upgrade that has been proposed.
The spread of 5G IoT communications has been less impressive so far. Going forward, the research co-author, Olivia Williams, noted the need to invest in high-yield areas before expanding more broadly:
“5G will enable more efficient and dynamic healthcare delivery that was not possible with 4G or Wi-Fi. However, healthcare providers must first implement 5G in areas that provide a strong return on investment; most notably connected emergency services.”
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