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Industry Insights

Connecting the Dots - Connecting with 5G

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 | by Rudy Montgelas
Connecting the Dots with Rudy Monteglas | How tech shapes you and your future
CTD Wake up


You wake up at 7:00 in the morning to the smell of coffee, sunshine on your face and a subtle, soothing voice telling you to get out of bed for a meeting at 8AM. Shaking off the morning cobwebs, you realize that you are in your smart hotel room that you’d been hearing about for a while, the one that you had to try out. In fact, that voice was not your “significant other”, but a digital speech synthesis/recognition system in the room’s ceiling speaker.

Dragging yourself out of bed, you saunter over to the already brewing coffeepot for a cup of morning java. Heading to the bathroom, the ceiling sensor has already turned on the shower to just the right temperature that you had selected on your intelligent watch the night before. After the wake-up coffee, heated cream shave and shower, you dry off with towels preheated by the digital electricity-powered towel warmer. While you dress, the smart TV comes on set to your favorite channel, with the shades lowered and PoE LED lights adjusted to just the right color and intensity in the room.

Ready to leave your room after a brief dose of the morning news, you make your way to the hotel dining room. Your favorite breakfast was found in your hotel profile and ordered for you as you leave the room at just the right time by your room’s sophisticated occupancy sensor. The door is automatically locked behind you, lights turned off, the HVAC system shut down and a notice is sent to housekeeping that the room is available for cleaning.

Gee! No, 5G!

Certainly, this scenario is not out of a future science fiction movie, but something already happening all around us today with the massive infusion of IoT devices into smart buildings, powered by energy efficient DC electricity, and the convergence of power and data over low voltage Ethernet cables.  But, behind all this is also a huge infrastructure of singlemode fiber optic cables, cloud-based artificial intelligence and edge computing devices. Not only that, but many of these devices might be meshed with next-generation AI-based 5G low-latency cellular radio networks.1 However, with the added power of these intelligent networks comes the necessity for the complexity of sophisticated security measures and firewalls.2


CTD World

What’s 5G?

Almost everyone has probably heard of 4G. That’s the wireless cellular network system that we are all using to connect our cellphones to the internet and to other wireless callers today. 5G is the “fifth generation” cellular network that promises to bring us high speed wireless connectivity to our mobile devices such as our phones, laptops, autonomous automobiles4, and even our refrigerators and the pet cam in our furry friend’s collars5.

ctd dog

Will 5G networks replace 4G networks? Not right away. So, we won’t have to recycle all our cellphones yet and replace them with 5G phones, at least not immediately. In fact, 5G and 4G networks will coexist in harmony, for some time to come, bringing you your phone calls as well as streaming movies and other data rich content. And, you won’t have to wait that long because 5G provides content with tremendous bandwidths and significantly lower delays, or latency, than 4G networks.

ctd 5g

ctd lte

But, to do all that, 5G networks signals will need to operate at different frequencies and will also require special antenna beam forming and steering technologies to reach their eventual destinations. At the frequencies proposed for 5G, many more antennas will need to be installed along roadways, inside or on top of buildings and throughout the urban landscape than are currently employed for 4G. With this comes more fiber connections and power sources that will also need to be installed to support the multitude of 5G transponders and data hungry IoT devices that must connect to the Internet.

So, what does this all mean for me and Legrand?

The opportunities abound for the companies, entrepreneurs and manufacturers that have innovative solutions supporting 5G systems in the future. Stay tuned to the advancements in 5G coming down the pike that will bring you services and capabilities that you never dreamed of.

If you would like to catch up with some of the past CTDs, you can find them on the Legrand Industry Insights web page at:

Until next time, we’re looking forward to providing you with another CTD to keep you connected.

References and further reading:

  1. Connecting Artificial Intelligence, Legrand’s Connecting the Dots series, December 7, 2018
  2. Securing IoT Networks, Internet of Things, Security, February 22, 2018, by: William "Bill" Malik (CISA VP Infrastructure Strategies)  
  3. The Dream of 5G IoT Could be a Cyber Security Nightmare, By Ben Parisi, In the Mesh, October 29, 2018
  4. In a crash, should self-driving cars save passengers or pedestrians? 2 million people weigh in, Science, By Jamie Leventhal, Oct 24, 2018
  5. Do you have a pet that wanders? These tech solutions may help, by Ciara O'Brien, The Irish Times, March 14, 2019