In the first blog of this series, we discussed how best-in-class companies can prepare to harness the promise of increased connectivity. And the opportunity now exists for businesses of all sizes to turn data into insights that can fuel improvements in their operations: instant data-streams from smartphones, tablets, GPS vehicle tracking systems, and connected equipment provide managers, owners, and workers with information that can point them to smarter decisions on how to manage their days and their businesses.
Enhanced 5G connectivity is going to be a major factor in the ongoing benefits that businesses can see from data – including improved speed and greater productivity. As vehicles continue to add hardware and computing power to handle their data and make it actionable in the day-to-day, they need a transit mechanism to take that data out of the vehicle and communicate it with other vehicles and the overall internal infrastructure. Given the expected increase in volume of data, a faster, higher capacity network is needed: that’s where 5G steps in.
Taking Connectivity to the Next Level
5G is expected to deliver mobile data speeds faster than today’s 4G wireless technology and is poised to fundamentally shift how American consumers and businesses connect to each other and to the world around them. According to a recent IHS Markit report, 5G will enable $12.3 trillion of global economic output in 2035, and the global 5G value chain will generate $3.5 trillion in output and support 22 million jobs.1 And, the FCC has recently removed legacy barriers to infrastructure deployment, hastening the development and rollout of 5G technology.
One of the key potential outcomes of the move to 5G is the use of the vehicle as the centerpiece of a mobile work environment, enabling it to serve as a single point of contact for all types of connected work. Integrating additional technologies like inventory control using RFID, Wi-Fi and online capture of data and quick information exchange would further solidify the vehicle as the workspace of the future.
Empowering Freight as a Service
In addition to creating a true mobile workspace, 5G will also empower the Freight as a Service (FaaS) model, helping to support on-demand capacity and service needs. ABI Research forecasts FaaS to represent 30 percent of total goods transportation revenues by 2030, with benefits including cost reductions, resource utilization improvements, and convergence of market landscapes through adoption of a sharing economy business model.2 This can have an immediate impact on underloaded freight assets, with an average global air cargo Freight Load Factor as low as 44 percent and a structural 20 percent long-haul truck cargo capacity utilization deficit in the U.S3 (and the ongoing driver shortage exacerbating that deficit).
With the use of a mobile resource management (MRM) platform, connected vehicles will be easily transferable to and from different organizations, and businesses will be better equipped to understand their demand and resource requirements.
Moving Forward with the Right Solutions
The shift to 5G is necessary to meet increasing connectivity requirements and will facilitate a number of changes in the small- to medium-sized business landscape. The concept of the vehicle as a mobile work environment will enable companies to take advantage of one single point of contact for all types of connectivity, and FaaS will streamline freight and parcel delivery services through advancements in cargo marketplaces, on-demand transportation, freight brokerage and ridesharing.
Technology continues to break down barriers, making it easier for businesses of all sizes to participate in the global marketplace. However, with a myriad of tools and partners available, it can be difficult to determine where best to make technology investments. A shortsighted approach focused on achieving immediate needs with minimal investment can yield strong near-term results but could leave SMBs open to threats from competitors with more comprehensive digital transformation strategies such as the move to 5G. To find out more on how your business can prepare to reap the benefits of 5G connectivity, download our newest eBook here.