In simple terms, 5G is a new cellular network that aims to provide faster download speeds, low latency, and increased device connectivity capacity. 5G could transform the way many industries operate now.
These changes present new opportunities and challenges for fleets. By making key preparations, the fleet industry can take full advantage of the new network with minimal disruption.
The 5G rollout will look different region by region.
In the EU, infrastructure plans have been adopted for all member states to start implementation in 2020 to ramp up connectivity by 2025. In the US, all major cellular providers have a 5G option and are actively expanding. China currently has the most widespread coverage, with 5G available in 341 cities.
While this overview is at a macro level, it’s most helpful to start by looking at the 5G rollout in the cities and regions specific to your operations.
It’s also important to check fleet devices to see which network they run on. With 5G updating the cellular network, the older 3G network is going offline. This means your ELD could too. Remember, 3G sunsetting will vary by region.
For now, 4G still provides most network services as 5G infrastructure is prepared and upgraded. This gives fleets time to assess current devices and make necessary preparations.
It’s still a good idea to start upgrading now to take advantage of what 5G can offer. It’s estimated that 5G is expected to increase the number of connected devices – approximately 1 million devices per 0.38 square miles – which means IoT will remain crucial in connectivity solutions.
Now is a good time to take stock of your fleet devices and consider whether upgrades could increase productivity.
Not every fleet will use 5G in the same way. While 5G has a lot to offer, it’s not always necessary. For example, smaller regional fleets won’t need to connect as many devices as larger, transnational ones.
Part of preparing for 5G can also include considering how much it actually benefits fleet solutions in the near future. Additionally, think about plans on how to adapt when it does become the standard.
Different carriers offer different plans with their own pros and cons. When choosing a carrier, consider whether they will assist in any network transitions.
Also check with carriers to see if they’re offering low, mid or high band spectrums.
This kind of information can help determine what kind of service will benefit your fleet the most. For example, low band wireless spectrum will cover the largest geographical area but provides lower speeds. Keep in mind that the lower speed could still work for your specific fleet needs such as fleets that travel long distances, especially in remote areas.
High band spectrum, on the other hand, can provide the highest speeds of 5G, but to a much smaller area. This could be great for warehouses or other logistics hubs.
Faster download speeds and low latency means that streaming will become more seamless, making it a great time to invest in video technology.
In-vehicle video monitoring allows fleets to stay connected with real-time and historical videos of trips in progress. Video telematics can combine recording with AI to help detect safety hazards like distracted driving.
Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication is getting a lot of buzz as the future of transportation.
Put simply, V2V communication is the ability for vehicles to communicate seamlessly with their surroundings and with each other. This could minimise crashes and even help cities better manage traffic.
5G is expected to advance V2V technology thanks to low latency and high bandwidth. Fleets can prepare for the future of 5G – and V2V communication – by investing in telematics solutions.
New solutions on the market and trying to diversify core competencies to stay competitive create a complex ecosystem. Many fleet management solution providers partner with IoT enablement service providers in order to offer current, competitive solutions in a rapidly changing market that has high demands.
By increasing the connectivity of a fleet now, it will be easier to integrate V2V and V2X (vehicle-to-everything) technology in the future.
The fleet industry can get ahead of the curve by preparing for 5G with telematics solutions. KORE Fleet is helping fleets take advantage of 5G for IoT projects and more.
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