What 5G Offers Rural Communities

Overview With 5G, rural communities will have better access to information and opportunities for job growth.

The high bandwidth and low latency promised by 5G are set to spark transformations in the way we live. With the rapid urbanization of the world, experts are forecasting the way 5G and its enabled technologies could make everyday life more efficient and productive for city-dwellers.

For rural areas, 5G deployment has different challenges than in urban areas. The industry is already working to address the high installation prices for small cell sites, which are needed to help transit 5G signals over longer distances, and the subsequent higher usage fees for rural areas.

However, pushing 5G to rural areas, where communities often lack reliable broadband internet service, could lead to prominent, positive changes for those who reside outside city centers.


Access to Learning

Improving network connectivity in rural schools could enable better access to teaching tools and information, and it could provide immediate access to subjects and events from across the globe. Simply decreasing the latency of the internet connection can dramatically expand the pool of learning options and opportunities, both inside and outside urban areas.

In regions where high-speed internet was previously unavailable, the capabilities of 5G can make it easier for students to complete homework at home without the limits that low connectivity sets.


Access to Work

At CES® 2020, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® Vice President of Market Research Steve Koenig explained how the rise of 5G systems can help industries like agriculture, which drives large portion of the rural economy.

With connected harvesters, soil moisture sensors, drones and more, farmers can more efficiently tend crops and maximize harvest potential.

Beyond the addition of 5G-enabled applications to established workflows, 5G may also create a need for workers to fill new jobs in these communities to set up wireless infrastructure, implement 5G-enabled smart city solutions, and support customer service to maintain tools equipped with the new technology.


Access to Care

In closing the digital divide in rural areas, essential health care and connected services become more accessible. The stronger connections and low latency of 5G offer telemedicine opportunities for rural areas, where larger hospital services are difficult to reach. This opens doors for remote surgery, consultations and more.

Because 5G can transfer data more quickly, it also makes wearables and self-monitoring health care devices more effective. Patients can track and transfer up-to-the-minute vital signs data to their remote health care providers.

Though the widespread adoption of 5G will not be instantaneous, the potential for it to revolutionize communication and access to information for rural communities may spur the industry to form more partnerships and create efforts to expand 5G infrastructure to those areas.

Learn more about ways in which 5G livestreaming can change our lives.

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