With nearly 80% of data consumed inside of buildings, the next generation of cellular, 5G, will have a significant impact on the daily operations of commercial office buildings.
5G will impact every aspect of the office building from occupant experience and workplace productivity to IoT-based systems that connect to the cloud and smart grids, and landlords must ensure that tenants and occupants fully maximize benefits.
Here are five things building owners can do to prepare for 5G.
1. Audit your network infrastructure
Building owners should encourage their CIO’s to audit the network infrastructure and determine what upgrades or replacements to network hardware, software, and other systems are needed to become 5G-ready. Due to the relatively high costs of network upgrades, owners should start preparing now so that once 5G emerges they are well-positioned drive enhanced experiences in their buildings.
2. Reset goals based on 5G capabilities
As 5G emerges network bandwidth and download speeds will increase dramatically creating a massive surge of real-time communication between IoT sensors, devices and mobile computing. As a result, commercial building occupants and building maintenance teams will dramatically change the way they operate especially through the use of real-time video conferencing.
As enterprises race to attract the most talented employees, offering workplace experiences such as real-time video conferencing will become a requirement in office buildings. To attract technology tenants, building owners should start working with their IT teams to determine how to implement these applications.
The use of real-time video conferencing will impact building security and maintenance. 5G will be used in security camera systems where real-time video transmission can add significant value to occupant safety. Real-time video conferencing will also create the ability to do off-site repairs. More technicians will work from off-site locations to test, inspect and repair equipment which means that the role of building managers will significantly change.
While these changes will make processes more efficient and less costly over time, landlords should work with IT teams to ensure that their staff and infrastructure can meet requirements.
3.Deal with the building data deluge
By 2025, 6 billion mobile users and IoT applications will have at least one data interaction every 18 seconds resulting in 90 billion tetrabytes of data, according to data and analytics firm, IDC.
5G’s enhanced speed will enable smart building sensors and devices to monitor data at faster intervals resulting in significantly more data available from sensors and devices to analyze.
However, collecting more data is not necessarily meaningful especially in smart buildings where energy or occupancy usage patterns are not likely to change significantly in a matter of seconds.
Building owners and managers should review their existing IoT connected devices to assess where higher data transmissions speeds can enable a better occupant experience and add value to their bottom-lines. Building owners should identify which applications will not require the collection of large volumes of data.
4. Prepare for augmented reality
5G will also increase applications and use of augmented reality (AR), especially when it comes to building inspections. Soon building inspectors will be able to use smart goggles to view the schematics and wiring behind drywall and other structures which are currently not visible to the human eye.
While AR will be a more efficient and transparent means of inspecting buildings and improve asset performance and value over time, installing 5G is only the first step towards augmented reality applications. Landlords should start thinking about what other changes are necessary to make AR a reality in their buildings.
5. Strengthen cybersecurity protocols
As 5G enables the greater connectivity and communication between IoT devices and systems and smart city applications, it will also exponentially increase cybersecurity risks – putting both data and physical security occupants at risk. While there is no existing solution to completely eliminate these risks, building owners should start working with IT departments to define goal and protocols to minimize exposure to cyber hacks.