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5G IoT use cases demand advanced modules

5G is finally rolling out to the extent that in some countries there is a usable footprint of coverage for the first time. This has moved 5G from the theoretical into reality but resulted in the serious question of whether IoT needs 5G. For many IoT applications, the bandwidth offered by low power wide area networks (LPWAN), 3G and 4G/LTE is abundantly sufficient for their data transmission needs. However, with 2G cellular networks being retired and the substitution of 2G with narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) becoming massive around the globe, the opportunity for 5G IoT is starting to become clear.

It is, however, reliant on networks being in place and there is good news on this front. Analyst firm IoT Analytics estimates that the global base of 5G connected devices, both IoT and non-IoT, will reach 1.2 billion by 2025, rising from around 11 million devices in 2020. The growth of 5G devices plus the increased footprint, currently projected as 392 operators in 126 countries by the Global Suppliers Association (GSA), means there’s a base to build from and 5G’s core benefits of high speed, low latency and connection density are set to enable a paradigm shift in performance compared to alternatives. Even the highest performance versions of LTE, such as LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro, do not come close the performance of 5G which truly brings in a step change in both data rate and low latency.

Six 5G IoT use cases

To illustrate the variety of verticals and the wide spread of applications 5G can enable in IoT, Quectel has researched six examples of how the technology is being utilized, taking cases in which 5G is either strictly required by the application or a strong enabler of application performance.

The use cases include: automotive, health, manufacturing, farming, media and smart cities. These are detailed in a whitepaper which details how some or all of the attributes of 5G are driving exciting new business cases from remote surgery to ultra-reliable low latency communication (URLLC) for factory automation and personnel safety. 5G really is underpinning use cases that are a matter of life and death but there are also use cases that are generating real revenues for organisations that deploy 5G.

Quectel’s head start in 5G means its modules contain the most advanced features and capabilities on the market. For example, the 5G modules include powerful algorithms for edge computing and storage, utilizing Cortex-A7 up to 1.5GHz as the primary boot processor,  a powerful  digital signal processor (DSP) up to 1.5GHz as well as including support for low-power double data rate 4X (LPDDR4X) memory at 1.8GHz. These capabilities ensure customers’ devices have the processing power they need to create and broadcast high quality video content.

To read the whitepaper in full and learn in detail about the six early use cases for 5G in IoT, visit