The versality of 5G, together with advances in other areas such as the use of sensors, will build smarter water utilities. These are the revolutionary use cases of 5G in the water industry.
1 – Connecting millions of devices
5G can handle up to millions of sensors per km2, ensuring the coexistence of smart meters with the digital transformation of other meters, and with smart devices on the streets and in homes. The connection of millions of devices in a small area, thanks to MIoT (Massive Internet of Things), is another of its major developments.
2 – Extending the lifetime of sensors
Some 5G features reduce battery consumption by up to 50% compared to current levels. This will extend the lifetime of sensors, decreasing costs and enhancing the sustainability of the active sensor network.
3 – Improved security protocols
As infrastructure becomes more digital, utilities must be ready to stop cyber-attacks that could put the population at risk. This technology delivers increased reliability thanks to improved security protocols. In addition, it ensures network ubiquity, i.e. uninterrupted coverage.
4 – Proprietary network slicing
Critical infrastructure operators will be able to apply the network slicing concept and have their own communications network. The implementation of robust, preset quality parameters will be crucial when designing and managing use cases for these communication networks.
5 – Safe decisions close to the sensors
An increase in the amount of information available, together with edge computing technology will facilitate the definition of algorithms to make safe decisions close to the sensors that generate data. Decision-making will improve thanks to the use of business process data in real time and algorithm performance for process automation, energy efficiency and infrastructure maintenance will be optimized.
6 – Real-time remote control
In Industry 4.0. and smart factories, autonomous irrigation and plant operation, as well as robot driving via 5G, will be commonplace. In the area of wastewater, sewerage inspections could be conducted by drones in real time in the future, improving visibility in areas that are difficult to access or unsuitable for operators.
7 – Remote technical assistance
Augmented reality calls are a very interesting alternative to face-to-face technical assistance. They would eliminate the need for experts to travel whilst providing utilities with access to highly specialized knowledge from anywhere in the world. In addition, 5G could be used to drive autonomous vehicles for sowing and harvesting in agriculture.
Keep reading about revolutionary use cases of 5G in the water industry in Idrica's whitepaper "5G - a game changer for the water industry", which provides insights into how the next technological revolution promises to build smarter businesses.