For some of us who are less fortunate, the IoT driven by 5G technology, may be just what the doctor ordered. According to 2018 data from the Federal Communications Commission, 24 million Americans lack access to fixed, residential high-speed broadband services. This means that certain segments of the US population may have access to important life services only via mobile networks.  With 5G and IoT applications though, access to services like health care, education, energy use, and transportation can become possible. The IoT and 5G can not only reduce the cost of service delivery, but make more accurate decisions around outputs, and empower consumers around individual and community concerns. With 5G’s technical ability to simultaneously support massive numbers of devices, many mobile-dependent users will be able to participate in the digital economy, since smartphones, cell phones, or other wireless-enabled devices are their only gateway to the internet. The following report takes a deep dive into how these technologies will be a game-changer for some.

Fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks are expected to be the next big leap in mobile broadband. Peak download speeds as high as 20 gigabits-per-second will enable specialized tasks like remote precision medicine, connected cars, virtual and augmented reality, and a wide array of internet of things (IoT) applications.

Nationwide, resilient 5G networks will be needed to accommodate the growing demand for high-speed mobile broadband. While some researchers and analysts suggest that existing 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology is sufficient for the majority of IoT use cases, this paper argues that only high-speed, high-capacity, low-latency 5G broadband networks will meet the demands of increasing data-intensive applications. Moreover, 5G will support the massive numbers of devices that will simultaneously access the network, which will be far more than 4G LTE can handle. As 5G enables IoT applications, like health care, education, energy and transportation, it is imperative that they operate as anticipated, without fail, every time.

Read the full report from the The Brookings Institution

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