We are seeing so many ads about 5G. Cellular phone companies, cable vendors and others are updating their network infrastructure to support the 5G technology. It is present in many cities and some mobile phone manufacturers like Samsung are 5G-enabled, . Apple has stated it will release a 5G-enabled phone around October 2020. Sidenote: 5G-enabled phones can also use 4G.
Before we dive into why 5G is a game changer, we should consider the basics – one must first have a good quality phone connection with a decent speed. Today’s network is 4G LTE and is quite effective for delivering content. From here it simply gets better with 5G.
5G Simply Explained
Bandwidth! 5G is potentially 1000 times faster than 4G LTE. This means accessing information on the “cloud” or anywhere on the network is instantaneous. Said simply – content is sent and received amazingly fast. Personally, I look at it as being on a very fast network all the time from wherever you are.
There is another characteristic of 5G that should be mentioned – Latency. This is a way to measure speed. Bandwidth is not, even though many refer to bandwidth as speed. The best way to explain the difference is to use a pipe as an example:
• Bandwidth has to do with how wide or narrow a pipe is.
• Latency has to do with the contents of the pipe; how fast it moves from one end to the next.
As an example, if you have a low latency and small bandwidth, it will take longer for information to travel from point A to point B compared to a connection that has a low latency and high bandwidth (5G).
To put this into perspective, 5 race cars will get from point A to point B faster if they’re on a 5-lane freeway (low latency, high bandwidth) compared to the same number of cars making the same trip down a 1-lane freeway (low latency, small bandwidth).
Benefits to CrewTracker Software
For our users, a major benefit will be real-time information about the properties, surfaces, services and routes being performed by the crews – thanks to the increased speed and reduced latency of 5G.
Today, management and customers instantly see what is going on with services being performed. In CrewTracker, service data is being updated, photos are being taken, weather maps are being accessed, GPS is being used - along with accessing tens of thousands of records. This is a lot of data for any IT environment – especially in the mobile phone world. 5G will make everything faster and immediately responsive - the true definition of real-time.
Messaging will also be improved and will engage the user and enable higher levels of productivity. Improved messaging will allow crews and managers to communicate faster and easier. In the near future, CrewTracker will leverage smart chatbots to provide important information.
Customer portals will be richer in functionality. For example, customers being serviced will immediately see the status, photos or even real-time video; before, during and after their service.
5G will allow us to continue adding enhancements and robust functionality to the mobile app including Internet of Things sensors for equipment or ground/air temperatures. These devices will leverage 5G to transmit the sensor data back to CrewTracker.
5G enables greater implementation of Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms by storing them in the cloud. When 5G is combined with AI, the processing can be shared between the cloud and the device. This will increase performance with the end result being enhanced user experiences by providing the knowledge needed to make great business decisions.
Where we see 5G greatly benefiting the CrewTracker Software solution is in the area of analytics. We will now be able to provide responsive information on comprehensive dashboards providing descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics. Users will ask questions of large amounts of data enabling them to better manage their business operations – in real-time - from a mobile device. With inclusion of historical event data, current weather conditions, sensor data, artificial intelligence and other relevant data we will be able to "prescribe" the optimal routing, equipment, crews and configure the event operations in advance. The event configuration can then be tweaked where and as needed.
For the CrewTracker software product line, as 5G continues to become mainstream we will leverage the increased capabilities to improve the product with emerging and innovative technologies. In line with our intense customer focus, our goal is to ensure that CrewTracker Software provides the optimal customer experience.
Written by John Paganini, CEO at CrewTracker Software