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How 5G Will Impact Media, Utilities and Energy, Financial Services, and the Public Sector

Live-streamed holograms; safer, more sustainable energy; and more secure, real-time data-based security will transform how we live, work, and communicate.

[@LAUREN LEE/Stocksy United]

I previously shared my thoughts on how 5G will shape healthcare, retail and manufacturing. As a follow up to that, I feel it’s also important to dive into a few other industries, as it’s clear that 5G is going to have a significant impact on media, energy and utilities, financial services, and the public sector.

5G facilitates a new era in media and entertainment 

With more of us binging on Netflix, Hulu, Prime, and other platforms, streaming subscriptions are experiencing record growth. Some estimate that video and live TV streaming subscriptions will jump 15 percent, to $41 billion in 2021. 

5G will increase the speed of the wireless networks powering these streaming services, and in turn, real-time, on-demand entertainment services, to meet growing consumer expectations. We’ll see the introduction of more augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) capabilities in the home. And, because 5G helps increase throughput to transmit holograms more broadly and at a lower cost, consumers at home could be watching holographic versions of their favorite artists stream live. 

Because 5G helps increase throughput to transmit holograms more broadly and at a lower cost, consumers at home could be watching holographic versions of their favorite artists stream live.

In advertising, there are also tremendous implications for 5G. Traditional advertising will transition into innovative digital and social advertising. Ads will be interactive and continually informed by real-time data. For instance, Marriott developed an interactive mobile Drive Trip Recommendation tool that serves personalized destination recommendations tailored to users in real-time. Social media platform TikTok just announced an AR ad that allows marketers to create immersive, branded experiences.

Renewable utilities, energy, and field operations with 5G

On the heels of the World Economic Forum, there’s been a surge in conversations around the importance of renewable energy resources and sustainability. Another positive effect of 5G will be in the energy and utilities sector. 5G facilitates technologies like smart homes or connected homes, defined by Gartner as homes that are networked to enable the interconnection and interoperability of multiple devices, services, apps, and grids seamlessly. With 5G providing the speed and security these smart systems require, they may contribute to a less wasteful, affordable energy market. According to Smart Energy International, Nokia and Telefónica found that 5G networks are 90 percent more energy efficient in megabits per second (Mbps) than their 4G predecessors, and that overall energy use is a concern.

With 5G providing the speed and security these smart systems require, they will contribute to a less wasteful, affordable energy market.

As in manufacturing, field technicians in utilities will see better connectivity through 5G to improve training and remote support. Real-time data management and improved monitoring will also help preserve community safety. For example, better monitoring of power lines through the Internet of Things (IoT), drones, and artificial intelligence (AI) will help keep utilities workers and residents better protected. By embedding public assets like power lines, drainage pipes, and gas pipelines with 5G-connected IoT sensors, utilities companies can visualize the location of these assets throughout the city. The IoT sensors that connect these assets would provide real-time information on events like leakages and blockages. Problems can be identified quickly before they become serious. 

Create more secure and engaging 5G financial services

According to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer Report, 68% of customers say COVID-19 has elevated their expectations of companies’ digital capabilities. We’ve been relying more on remote communications and making fewer non-essential trips everywhere – including to the bank.

Beyond just a password, 5G will help increase security with new applications like biometric authentication and biological measurements like fingerprints or facial features.

With the rollout of 5G, we’ll see greater speed, efficiency, and digitization of communications within financial services. Customers will reach their bank or financial advisors from anywhere, via means such as video conferencing and AR-enhanced chatbots or robots. Beyond just a password, 5G will also help increase security with new applications like biometric authentication and biological measurements like fingerprints or facial features to protect sensitive documents and valuables. Two European banks have even begun to explore layering multiple biometric authentication methods: facial recognition and palm recognition together. 

On the insurance and lending side of finance, 5G’s quicker data transmission will speed claims processing and lending decisions. McKinsey estimates that the current U.S. mortgage process is often lengthy and costly for the financial institution. The improved efficiencies to come can help provide smoother, more cost-effective operations and happier customers.

Strengthening connectivity within the 5G public sector

A major challenge we face in the U.S. is expanding access to high-speed wireless internet, especially in rural and underserved areas. 5G has great promise in closing this digital divide – the gap in access to and usage of information and communication technology. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve witnessed how detrimental this divide can be to a student’s right to education, and how pressing it is to close it.

With the rollout of 5G, smart cities will use high-speed data and edge technology to improve the quality of life for residents, and improve the link between residents and public servants.

5G will also help the public sector better engage residents. With the rollout of 5G, smart cities will use high-speed data and edge technology to improve the quality of life for residents, and improve the link between residents and public servants. For example, New Orleans recently announced a program that will allow anyone calling or texting 911 to talk to first responders by video. 

For national defense efforts, 5G will usher in greater connectivity for devices that support training, missions, and strategy development. This includes AR and VR, connected sensors, and drones. For example, with 5G connectivity, drones can livestream photos and videos, and use AI to create digital maps in real-time. With more information, military leaders are able to make more informed decisions. 

The power of 5G across industries

Helpful communications solutions exist that will benefit media, utilities, financial services, and the public sector. While the full effect of 5G remains to be seen, the promise of wider network coverage, connection stability, and faster speeds will take shape in many ways.

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