Industry Insights

5G for a Better Planet

2019-04-18  |  5 min read 

Enhanced mobile broadband is imminent. 5G mobile network deployments have started and will increase significantly in 2019 and 2020. The industry places a lot of emphasis on this 5G use case. But the impact of 5G goes much further. 5G capabilities in terms of speed, bandwidth, and latency can play an important role to address environmental challenges. 5G promises to lower the impact of human activity on earth. It will help to conserve precious natural resources by improving control through smart management systems and reducing energy consumption. Here are a few examples of 5G-enabled applications that will help the planet:

5G for Water

By 2050, close to 70% of the world population will be living in cities, according to the United Nations. Water scarcity and related problems will increase. 5G-enabled Internet of things (IoT) devices can help in many ways. They can increase water control with more capable management systems, in turn combating pollution and improving water quality. They will also help conserve water.

5G is driving transformation in the water industry. Massive connections will facilitate the collection of data, such as water level and quality, with monitoring devices. 5G’s high bandwidth and low latency will give rise to augmented reality (AR) capabilities and high definition (HD) video surveillance. In Xiong’an, China, for example, China Telecom has implemented a smart water control and monitoring solution with the help of ZTE that has improved local water quality and water management efficiency.

IoT enabled by 5G is also changing farming, helping to conserve water. Smart agricultural systems can minimize the use of water, fertilizers, and pesticides through more precise application. Irrigation systems, for instance, would turn on at the optimal time of day. 5G could have a significant impact on water savings through its support of smart farming. Agriculture accounts for 70% of global water withdrawal and 80% of the water demand in the U.S.

Smart water management and monitoring systems enabled by 5G also address the issue of water leakage. Such systems increase detection and accelerate remediation. Water leakage due to aging water infrastructure is a significant issue. In the U.S. alone, billions of gallons of water are wasted this way every year. 5G can help reduce this issue by enabling the monitoring of all pipes in real time.

5G smart transportation and agriculture

5G for Air

With most of the population living in urban areas by 2050, traffic congestion could have a significant impact on air quality. 5G can help reduce traffic congestion and pollution by enabling communications between vehicles, traffic infrastructure, and other devices.

Using cameras and sensors, dynamic traffic control systems can reduce energy consumption and pollution. The efficiency of traffic management systems lies in their ability to account for all vehicles all the time. 5G can address this need even for busy highways and congested cities. It can collect and process data from thousands of vehicles continuously.

5G can also help cities implement strategies to curb air pollutants. 5G-enabled systems can deliver precise information about the quality of air and the presence of harmful substances in real time. City buildings use large quantities of energy for lighting, heating and cooling, and information technology. 5G can reduce energy consumption by enabling dynamic sensor-based systems that react to environmental conditions and occupancy.   

5G for a Better Planet

5G holds significant potential for enabling the population to address key environmental concerns for the planet. Its speed, bandwidth, and latency capabilities allow for previously impossible applications that could have a material impact on energy consumption and conservation.

Learn more about Keysight’s vision to build a better planet by accelerating innovation to connect and secure the world and employing a global business framework of ethical, environmentally sustainable, and socially responsible operations.