5G: The Impact on Construction Technology
As many of you know I have a strong opinion that 5G is going to have a big impact on many industries as I have been talking about over on Connected World and The Peggy Smedley Show. Therefore, it should come as no surprise than that I believe 5G is going to change the way the construction industry conducts business—for the good I might add.
5G is all about low latency, higher capacity, and faster speeds, and we all know that is something that is needed in the construction industry. Technology companies such as Intel are delivering solutions to meet the need for network edge solutions, base station computing, and, yes, 5G.
Growth is imminent too. Allied Market Research says the global 5G technology market will reach $5.5 billion this year, and then $668 billion by 2026. That is a significant growth rate, in just a few years’ time. A number of predictions also point to the fact that 5G will transform businesses in manufacturing and construction.
Everything will change, thanks to the advent of 5G. It will touch the jobsite, service and maintenance, and the building infrastructure itself. It will improve bandwidth, making it possible to do AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), and to leverage advanced robotics and tele-remote equipment.
It is also a trend that many in the construction industry are beginning to tap into. At CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 earlier this month, equipment manufacturers began to make announcements about how 5G would help with things such as telematics and tele-remote equipment.
One example was Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co., which demonstrated how onsite 5G remote operation could be done with a self-operating excavator. The 5G remote-controlled excavators improve coordination and operation efficiency.
In this case, the ability to precisely control the excavator from ultra-long distances can effectively reduce the construction costs and improve site safety in extremely unique environments, such as mining, rescue, and disaster relief. With 5G, and the use of tele-remote equipment, construction companies can now remove humans from potentially dangerous jobsites.
This is just one case too. NECA (National Electrical Contractors Assn.) adds that many electrical contractors are embracing the shift to 5G networks, technologies, designs, and implementations to ensure sustained business growth.
With ultra-high speeds and low latencies, the possibilities for how technology can be used at the construction jobsite and in our infrastructure are endless. Enabled by the speed of 5G-connected devices, users will be able to have highly immersive experiences on connected devices. They will be able to leverage AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) and MR (mixed reality) scenarios via the digital twin and the IoT (Internet of Things), and so much more.
Only time will tell how the construction industry embraces all that 5G has to offer and its ability to unlock new scenarios and experiences to create greater innovation. Despite the challenges of the Covid virus, these are exciting for the industry as a whole. Construction firms have an opportunity to emerge stronger than ever before if they work closer with solution providers to make the best and right investments.
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