Learning Zone

Where are we with 5G and how can it help fleet management?

By Lily Hartley
12 August 2021

a hand holding a mobile phone with 5G floating around it

It was big news last year – but what’s happened with 5G since it hit the headlines?

A reminder: what is 5G?

5G is the newest generation of wireless technology. It does very similar things to 4G, but at much faster speeds, allowing for more reliable connectivity and greater capacity for devices.

What’s new?

Since 5G was announced, it’s been rolled out across the globe with most major network suppliers offering 5G in selected areas. Whilst it’s not available everywhere just yet, 5G can be found in most cities and towns, with villages and rural areas coming soon.

If you’re still mostly relying on 3G, you might need to make some changes or risk getting left behind. 3G networks are steadily being phased out across the globe, with most networks set to go offline in 2022.

So how can 5G help your fleet management?

Stay connected

One of the biggest advantages that comes with 5G is connectivity speeds. This faster system will make communicating with a far-flung fleet much easier and more effective, helping to reduce downtime and increase productivity.

Upgrades to the services currently provided by 4G in vehicles will support drivers by making communication with their team and other fleet assets much easier.

5G also gives high visibility into routes, allowing fleet managers to better optimize journeys and communicate this to drivers. Preventative re-routing using real-time updates on things like traffic and accidents can help your team to drive more efficiently and save time along the way.

Work smarter, not harder

5G has opened the door for smart technologies. From farmers trialing autonomous farm machinery to ambulances using 5G to connect EMTs to hospital staff, 5G can help your business to utilize systems that might not previously have been viable.

Technologies like telematics are set to be revolutionized by 5G as it enables more functionality, giving a better driver experience and producing more real-time diagnostic data for fleet managers.

5G connectivity also bolsters intelligent asset tracking devices, allowing businesses visibility over supply chains and giving them the data needed to identify gaps, helping to mitigate any problems.

Improved data sharing

5G technology brings with it improved latency, allowing you to send more data and larger files at faster speeds than ever before. A quicker network helps to improve productivity and allows real-time collaboration on tasks, saving you time and potentially money.

This responsiveness will also improve in-vehicle features such as assisted parking and collision sensors, greatly increasing collision avoidance capabilities and potentially reducing the risk of accidents in the process.

Planning your move to 5G

Whilst 5G promises fantastic developments for fleets, it’s important to plan thoroughly if you’re thinking of switching.

Current hardware might not be supported by 5G technology, so it’s vital that you determine how much kit will need to be upgraded for the move. If you have software integrations such as telematics, make sure to discuss any upgrades with integration providers to ensure everything will still communicate effectively.

If you’re still using 3G, make sure you’re aware of the network provider’s ‘sunset’ date as 3G technology is steadily phased out.

Future-proofing your fleet is a good move. Leveraging smart fleet management software is vital if you want to reap the rewards of 5G technology. If you’re using outdated fleet management systems, you might find that you end up with obsolete processes as 5G expands across the globe. Don’t get left behind – get started with smarter fleet management software today.