Various industries are buzzing with excitement and anticipation surrounding the arrival of 5G networks. Commercial builders and the many companies they serve find themselves mainly focused as to how the fifth generation of networking will impact smart buildings. Of course, they are curious to see what benefits the new technology will bring to smart building managers and occupants. Frankly, the advantages seem great, but stakeholders should also be aware of current limitations and potential challenges. Here’s what we can expect from 5G networks and the implications on the future of smart buildings.
What Do 5G Networks Promise?
What exactly is 5G technology? The new wireless spectrum networking architecture will bring out powerful performance from 5G-enabled applications and devices. What this means for users translates to lower latency and increased capacity, bandwidth, reliability, and speed.
In essence, it may sound like 5G technology is just improving upon past iterations of wireless networking and data communications capabilities. These previous iterations include 4G and soon to be obsolete 3G. However, the significant leap in transfer speeds and capacity it promises is nothing short of revolutionary. The implications of how smart buildings can take advantage of 5G networking manifest as the real source of enthusiasm surrounding its arrival and widespread adaptation.
Integration is Nothing New in Smart Buildings
With current understandings of technological trends influencing smart buildings and the promise of 5G, many will see that the main potential lies in improving building integration. IoT devices and sensors, monitored by a central building management software, already serve critical functions in a smart building environment. Tons and tons of data points are gathered and analyzed every day to improve efficiencies in asset management, employee tracking, cost reductions, and energy consumption.
Building management systems also integrate the monitoring and operating of various systems, including lighting, access control, HVAC, life safety devices, and more. With 5G, all these existing connected devices and applications will be able to handle higher levels of infrastructure control and advanced analytics.
5G networking’s thrilling potential should not stop us from critically assessing the current limitations and challenges that need to be overcome. For starters, it isn’t quite available everywhere yet. Carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint offer 5G availability to some major U.S. cities while rapidly expanding to more. Waiting for 5G coverage to expand to their location is one matter. However, that puts most companies in the not-yet serviceable towns in a tight spot. They need to decide to adapt 5G technology into their smart buildings now. Otherwise, businesses risk being left behind the curve later.
Another consideration is that 5G networking signals are only able to perform at its capacity in outdoor settings. 5G signals carry a greater capacity of data communication, but at a shorter range. Additionally, physical barriers, such as construction materials, interfere with 5G’s capability to penetrate those walls and even glass windows. In order to take 5G networking indoors to support smart buildings, the infrastructure will surely require signal boosters and antennas to help strengthen the signal. Another approach to addressing this challenge is to encourage building owners to install the cellular networks within the building.
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At Critical Systems, the people come first, from our employees to our customers. We strive to attract and develop the best talent in the business. Our goal is to deliver innovative solutions for the purpose of making every building secure, efficient, and effectively managed. Serving the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, and Baltimore regions, SEBCSI provides innovative solutions for your commercial building or facility. Visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn today! If you’re looking for more information or interested in working with us on your next project, please contact us!