Intelligent connectivity is the combination of high-speed, low-latency 5G networks, cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) and the linking of billions of devices through the Internet of Things (IoT). As these three revolutionary technologies combine they will enable transformational new capabilities in transport, entertainment, industry and public services, and much more beyond. As operators expand beyond provision largely of network access to facilitation of holistic services, they are rapidly bringing into view a world of technological ease and sophistication which not long ago still seemed a long way off. The GSMA estimates that, by 2025, there will be 25 billion connected devices. This hyperconnectivity will be enabled by undisturbed mobile broadband, which will make the number of connected devices communicating with one other will be virtually limitless. This will be the prime enabler of intelligent connectivity.
Autonomous and Flexible Transportation System with 5G
Autonomous and even fully unmanned vehicles – connected to the IoT and supported by 5G – will deliver pronounced improvements in efficiency to logistics, agriculture, freight and end-deliveries, as well as in transportation of passengers. Services based on ‘Mobility as a Service’ are being piloted now in carefully controlled urban environments, and will become mainstream by the 2030s. Consumers for instance will increasingly be able to receive deliveries directly to their properties without needing to be in, by granting permissions to unmanned aerial and ground vehicles. If this sounds expensive, it shouldn’t – costs too will be reduced, as flexibility is increased and 5G can reliably s
upport huge fleets of such vehicles. Passengers too will be able to order transport options on demand from mobile devices which will transport them to their destination without the overheads required to train and pay drivers, using AI to optimise route management.
Enabling Intelligence and Agility in Agriculture
Meanwhile crops, mining and haulage will be tended to by agile connected devices, without the need to place people in dangerous, inhospitable or hard-to-reach locations. Human workers can therefore be redeployed to complete tasks from remote locations, and conduct practice through virtual reality before attempting complicated functions: the enormous bandwidth and ultra-low latency of 5G connectivity will support not only the demands of numerous unmanned vehicles, but will allow graphic simulations to match human response times. This ability to replicate lifelike graphics in complex scenarios – and challenge even the sharpest minds though artificial intelligence – will thereby revolutionise not only workplace training, and then also the possibilities once people have arrived home to relax, as virtual reality makes gaming vastly more immersive.
Enhanced Public Services Bringing Doctors and Patients Closer
Public services too stand to gain tremendously from intelligent connectivity. Patients already benefit from a range of connected mobile wearables which collect biometrics to provide instant, personalised medical recommendations, with innovations such as smart pill bottles, connected pacemakers and on-demand teledoctors already in use. In the near future use of such deployments will become commonplace, and AI-assisted health platforms will enable far more effective preventative care through proactive monitoring and remote care. Law enforcement, too, will take a preventative turn – allowing high-definition, mobile connected video cameras to deter infractions, as expectations of impunity among criminals goes into freefall. What crime does take place will be subject to analysis through big data and AI-assisted platforms, which will be used to predict future behaviour and guide facial recognition tools for enforcement of curfews.
Even sustainability and our ecosystem will be transformed by the better by intelligent connectivity – take for example the work already being done to connect beehives, on which a striking one third of the world’s food sources rely. This groundbreaking work will be displayed in action at the Mobile World Congress America in Los Angeles this month, where a collaboration between Verizon and Bee Corp will showcase how honey bee populations can be tracked and monitored for agricultural purposes. AT&T will have a compelling example of intelligent healthcare on display, which enables swift remote transfers of medical device data to healthcare providers. T-Mobile and Sierra Wireless will be also present to show their innovative work on making roads safer through AI, with smart detection and safety alerts delivered to drivers in real time. This is the year intelligent connectivity went beyond a theoretical prospect, and is now a practical reality; the demonstrations in Los Angeles, are the beginning of the story now unfolding. We await the many imminent developments in this area with great anticipation.
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||See the full list of Intelligent Connectivity demonstrations in the GSMA Innovation City||See the full list of IoT events at Mobile World Congress Americas|