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How are 5G and geospatial powering future cities?

How will 5G and geospatial power future cities
The plenary on 5G+Geospatial – Shaping Digital Cities at Geospatial World Forum 2019, in Amsterdam

Accurate geospatial information helps governments design better cities, improve public services and engage with citizens. Urbanization of the future would be driven by geospatial data and location would be a crucial component in digitalization of cities. And as cities get smarter, much of this location data have to be in real time. This is where Geospatial and 5G converge. 5G and geospatial will together be powering future cities.

Together they are the critical link for a smart, interconnected world, bringingg the next level of connectivity to industries and society that help in shaping digital cities.

“5G, will act as the connective tissue of tomorrow’s digital economy, linking everything from smartphones to wireless sensors to industrial robots and self-driving cars,” said Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary General, International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Johnson was speaking at a plenary session at the Geospatial  World Forum 2019 in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

The mega geospatial conference, which kicked off on April 2 in Amsterdam and will continue till Wednesday, expected to see over 1,000 delegates from across the world including C-level executives from geospatial and location companies, national mapping executives and multilateral organizations.

According to Jeff Glueck, CEO, Foursquare, who was also speaking at the session, “For 5G we need a multi-sensor approach. It is important to add the human element on the physical element for innovation.”

ALSO READ: Geospatial and 5G rollout: Why they are critical for each other

What is 5G?

5G is the short form for ‘fifth generation mobile network’, and is quite unlike any of the previous generations in a way that it is unlikely to be defined by any single technology. Often referred to as “the network of networks” because of the way it will bind together multiple existing and future standards, including the current LTE 4G networks, 5G will be way more fast and reliable with have greater carrying capacity.

5G will accelerate the move towards digital as a transformative ecosystem that combines Big data and Cloud, virtualization and augmentation, automation and intelligent machines, distributed computing and artificial intelligence, to derive insights from data that is generated by billions of connected devices. Its ubiquitous connectivity, low latency and incredible bandwidth will also present businesses with an innovation platform to help drive new revenue opportunities leveraging that data and enabling whole new experience.

“Multiple sensors are adding to more dynamic data coming from all quarters, drowning the whole world in a pool of data. You need more dynamic technologies to handle this data,” underlined Christopher De Preter, Chief Sales Officer, Hexagon Geospatial, at the conference.

5G and smart cities

The expansion of 5G technology is one of the keys to smart city development. 5G will help make smart sustainable cities a reality, underlined Johnson, adding that ith so many different interests involved in planning smart cities, collaboration is the key.

An Accenture study had earlier estimated that modernizing rules around 5G small cells could unlock additional $100 billion in US economy.  The connectivity and computing capacity unleashed by these high-speed wireless networks will bring the power of Smart City solutions even to municipalities, transforming local economies. Smart City solutions applied to management of vehicle traffic and electrical grids could produce $160 billion in benefits and savings through reductions in energy usage, traffic congestion and fuel costs, says Accenture. These 5G attributes will enable cities to reduce commute times, improve public safety and generate significant smart grid efficiencies, Accenture adds.

Geospatial and 5G

5G’s higher frequencies — which is needed to carry huge amounts of data — have very short range which can be impacted by smallest of the obstructions. The signal is so sensitive that it can be blocked by the palm of your hand, or even a raindrop. 5G will also require denser telecom network — more towers placed selectively and strategically. Therefore, accurate, authoritative geospatial data is fundamental here to plan network towers.

“Geospatial insight is key to planning for 5G network for unprecedented speed. It will expedite the process of site selection, design, and asset management, providing immersive, overlay and point cloud view for decision making,” explained Frank Paulie, CEO, Cyclomedia.

5G wireless promises higher capacity, more reliability, lower latency and improved coverage, thus bringing greater accuracy in positioning services since telecom-based positioning technologies require telecom towers to be synchronized to nanoseconds relative to each other.

5G will also usher in new technology trends that will significantly impact the overall mobile network architecture, thus influencing the traditional positioning concepts as well. With location becoming fundamental to governance and all business process, the value of location-based services for industries such as advertising and marketing, transportation, retail, will only increase since the 5G rollout and its subsequent expansion will enable more mobile interaction opportunities.

ALSO READ:#GeospatialByDefault – the all encompassing technology