As data usage continues to rocket and the 4G telecommunications standards struggles to cope, 5G is the much anticipated and hot topic that everyone is talking about. Promising high-speed data connections, vast improvements for the Internet of Things (IoT) and automation it is no surprise that it is set to disrupt many industries with the maintenance and engineering sector being no exception to this.

We sat down with Hemlow’s IT Technical Support Manager, Mark to talk about effects, changes and challenges we can expect to see in the M&E sector.

Mark, in your opinion how do you see this shift towards 5G affecting the industry?

“5G is going to impact every aspect of the commercial office building, from occupant experience and workplace productivity to IoT-based systems that connect a buildings assets to the cloud.

As network bandwidth and download speeds increase we will see 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.

5G will also allow for real-time video conferencing which 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 the building managers will significantly change. Over time many processes will become more efficient and less costly”.

How will businesses, including ourselves need to adapt to keep up with these technological advances?

“The direct impact from 5G may still be four or five years away, the commercial real state industry is now at the point where they need to adapt and plan for the changes coming. This will be driven by the tenant demand and the introduction of smart building technology.

As a company we will be looking to use the new technology and keep up to date with the latest automated smart building processes. Training will be essential to engineers when understanding the concepts of IoT. There has already been a number of training events and product demonstrations, with a view to Hemlow utilising this technology”.

From an IT prospective, what will be the benefits?

“5G will enable greater connectivity and communication from IoT devices and more importantly our engineers on site using tablet technology. Real time reporting, video reporting and off-site maintenance will become a major factor in how we do business.

For IT the cyber-security risks increase dramatically, while there is no existing solution to completely eliminate these risks, we will be working to define goals and procedures to minimise exposure to cyber hacks. 5G will certainly keep us busy!”

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