In our last 5G blog post we discussed the first application for the technology: Broadband internet access. This application is being rolled out around the world by major service providers right now. However, there are other more futuristic applications which will follow in the coming years. There are two broad categories of applications which will emerge: Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLCC) and massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC).
As the name implies, URLCC is for real-time or latency sensitive applications such as autonomous vehicles, gaming or virtual reality. To understand this application type, imagine a world where every vehicle on the road was in constant, real-time communication with every other vehicle on the road. In this world, a car would know instantaneously when a vehicle in front slammed on its brakes and could thus stop itself without running into the other vehicle. The vehicle related prospects for 5G are truly game changing.
mMTC is most closely associated with the Internet of Things or IoT. With this application type more and more machines, be they small or large, can communicate with each other without any human intervention. Industrial automation is an area ripe for innovation with mMTC related applications. Imagine digital robots and equipment scurrying around a factory floor communicating with parts or components in a process in perfect unison to create the goods of the future.