5G and the future of wireless at airports

5G connection: its effects on the IoT in airports.

Mobile internet has become essential in everyday activities and we expect to stay connected at all times of the day. The main telecommunications operators have invested over the years to improve the services offered and to give people the opportunity to have everything they need at their fingertips.

Since 2013 we have become used to the 4G connection, characterised by high speed and improved levels of efficiency compared to its predecessors.  The 4G era is now coming to its end to give way to new and promising innovations in the field of internet connections. These big changes will influence not only the way we connect through our devices but also the way we approach and interact with the things around us. In a single concept, it will make the Internet of Things more concrete.

This innovation wave is the 5G (5th Generation) connection. It will have major impacts across all fields, including medical, entertainment, gaming, social media and, of course, the transport sector.

5G Connection at the airports

What will come next?

The 5G connection will be powerful and will bring great changes. The first and most important feature will be speed: it is expected to be 20 times faster than the current 4G connection.

The navigation speed will make the services much more accessible and, at the same time, will allow real-time connection even for devices that normally require a wider connection (where the simple 4G connection would not be sufficient). Other technical features will be simultaneous connections, better spectral efficiency, wider coverage and reduced latency.

The 5G will be welcomed as a real revolution: everything will be connected with everything. As a consequence, improvements in the quality of life are expected from the moment of its introduction. It is expected to boost research and development in many fields including Artificial Intelligence and Industry 4.0.

How will this affect the airport services?

We expect airports to be influenced by these new trends. During the last few months some of the main telco companies have committed on the development of 5G connection networks in major airport terminals.

For example, Manchester airport that has become the first UK airport to be provided with a 5G connection thanks to Vodafone. Also in Italy, a first attempt at introducing the 5G connection has been made at Rome Fiumicino airport. It is the first Italian airport to offer travellers a unique wireless experience through the support of the company TIM.

The introduction of 5G internet will not only affect the passengers’ connection experience but also other aspects of the airport management. It will help to improve the performances and the efficiency levels, through significant costs and time saving actions.

The Internet of Things and the Artificial Intelligence will be more easily introduced in airports where, for example, it will be possible to digitalise many storage and boarding processes. Internal transports and buses for passengers on airport campuses may be controlled remotely and the new faster connection may allow the airlines to better manage the boarding times at gates. Other innovations may involve the management of resources, such us the introduction of smart lighting to help reducing costs and to adopt eco-friendly initiatives.

In conclusion, the way we approach technology will change radically after the introduction of the 5G connection. We are looking forward to seeing how these changes will affect our business in the transport sector!