In 1991, a life-changing phone call took place in the small city of Tampere, Finland, and although unremarkable compared to the significant global events that year, such as the Gulf War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, it had long-term consequences. It was the first GSM phone call, inaugurating the digital cellphone revolution. Fast forward to today where mobile handsets are no longer a luxury but a necessity, and a small but significant event happened in Tampere again last year at the DECT Forum’s meeting. The world’s first non-cellular 5G network was demonstrated, marking a momentous occasion that could have wide-reaching implications.
Although it may not sound groundbreaking to have yet another development in mobile communications, non-cellular 5G is tailored for small amounts of data on a large scale multiple times a day, which differentiates it from the traditional 5G with subscriptions. The latter is designed for massive amounts of data on a small scale, such as making video calls a few times a day. Additionally, non-cellular 5G only requires devices and no other infrastructure, and it is constructed for devices to communicate with each other on a billion-scale network.
The implications of non-cellular IoT (Internet of Things) are monumental, allowing us to streamline our modern infrastructure, reduce waste on a massive scale, and save significant amounts of energy, material resources, and time. For instance, national healthcare budgets could be minimized without cutting down staff time that could be used attending to patients but is instead wasted looking for equipment. Supermarkets could save tons of food that goes bad before reaching the shelves, while individuals could save energy by automating systems such as switching off lights and electrical appliances when not in use.
The above examples illustrate just a small percentage of what is already being accomplished, with IoT powered by non-cellular 5G, companies can reduce waste, and cities and countries can remove unnecessary infrastructure logistics. The possibilities for creating a sustainable and livable world for future generations are limitless, one small step at a time.
Wirepas is already looking to the future and assisting organizations in optimizing their resources. The first NR+-compliant product has already seen demonstrations in the market, but collaboration with hardware and solutions providers is required. The essential factor is to have the will to pursue the changes necessary to transition to a data-driven world with massive IoT. We are already heading in that direction, but the journey requires more hands.