Introduced around 2010, 4G – a revolutionary cellular network technology, has served industries and society, at large. These range from IT and defence to banking and agriculture. The construction and infrastructure industry, which are some of the few sectors that are known for their slow adoption to new technologies, have also reaped the benefits of 4G networks. However, with increasing dependency on the internet, growing demand for fast data, and the need to address issues related to capacity building, the industries are now taking a leap from 4G to 5G.
If we talk about combining 5G and real estate services, in particular, the advantages are tremendous. Not only is it set to change the building operations, say in the form of a space-as-a-service model, but will also unlock a host of new applications for developers, property managers, asset owners, and occupants, alike.
Plus, implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning backed systems in real estate is progressing at a rapid pace. With more number of properties being equipped with devices and sensors inside and out, 5G will enable excellent connectivity and will provide real-time data on usage.
What Exactly is 5G Technology?
The fifth generation or what is popularly known as 5G, is a wireless technology network that is designed to deliver speeds greater than 1 Gbps (gigabit per second). Not only high speeds, but even the response time of the 5G network (latency) is extremely fast. Better data speeds coupled with excellent response time aids in connecting an array of devices at the same time.
Therefore, if 5G and real estate services are combined together, it will enable an explosion in the use of IoT and AI in real estate applications such as –
- virtual and augmented reality
- 3D modeling and printing
- Smart devices and appliances
- building information modeling (BIM)
- drones and autonomous vehicles for construction
5 Key Terms Related to 5G Network
The fourth-generation (4G) of wireless technology has played a tremendous role in changing the dynamics of the real estate industry. However, with the onset of new-age technologies in real estate, network capacity and efficiency need to be improved. This is possible when 5G and real estate services are combined. Through these 5 terms tabulated below (that you will also come across in this article), you will be able to understand why more importance is now being given to developing 5G networks.
|Packed between microwave and IR waves, Millimeter Wave (mmWave) is a high-frequency spectrum lying in the range of 30 GHz to 300 GHz. Although the range goes to 300 GHz, the bands between 24 GHz and 100 GHz are expected to be used for the 5G network.||.MILLIMETER-WAVE (mmWave)|
|LATENCY||It is the time taken by a specific device to respond to other devices over a given network. In 4G networks, latency ranges between 60 to 98 milliseconds. 5G network, however, promises exceptional response time with a latency of 1 millisecond or lower.|
|Whether it is for low-or high-energy spectrums like 5G, small cells are physical components that improve the network efficiency. These cells consume minimal power and can be placed at every 250 meters to boost signal strength.||SMART CELLS|
|FIBER-ONLY TRANSMISSION||They are wireless networks that transmit data using fiber-based cables and not copper electrical cabling.|
|The highest data volume a wireless network can handle at one time, in a specific location is referred to as the network capacity.||NETWORK CAPACITY|
5G and Real Estate: The Key Implications
There are an array of industries that are transforming digitally with 4G capability. But how are 5G and Real Estate related? Or in what ways can this technology further accelerate digital development in the residential, industrial or commercial real estate sector? Let’s explore the answers through the points enlisted below.
1. Enhanced Speed
Theoretically, 4G network’s speed can reach upto 150 Mbps. However, the real-world download speeds ideally range between 30-40 Mbps. On the contrary, with sufficient infrastructure, the 5G network’s speed could reach upto 10-20 Gbps.
Hence, whether it is AI-backed systems or incorporating virtual reality in real estate websites, improved networks will play a significant role in using these technologies at full potential. Along with improving information sharing through cloud-based platforms, 5G technology can speed up the process of building standard components through 3D printing.
2. More Efficient BIM Technology
Reshaping the Building Information Modeling is one of the most significant benefits of amalgamating 5G and real estate construction services. To put it in simpler terms, BIM technology is the process of planning, constructing, and visualizing the building structure throughout its lifecycle using 3D-models. Not limited to only providing cost estimations, but BIM also-
- enables a simpler understanding of how the project will look,
- identifies the loopholes and danger zones in the construction sites, and
- streamlines workflow by storing and sharing information on cloud-based servers
The 5G network has the ability to provide fully confederated 6D Models, instead of 3D, and can facilitate faster information sharing across cloud-based platforms. This will not only lead to cost savings but will also speed up the construction process.
3. Excellent Capacity and Resilience
When we talk about homes, retail outlets, or commercial spaces equipped with smart features, we are referring to the use of systems that are powered by predictive analytics, AI, or machine learning technologies.
For instance, in a workspace, network connectivity plays a significant role in uploading humongous amounts of data on cloud-based servers and operating sensors for monitoring lighting and temperature. In residential complexes, however, operating video door phones or dynamic display panels for multiple in-house functions requires excellent internet connectivity.
Now for these systems to work efficiently, the network capacity has to improve. Only then more demand i.e. devices can be placed on one single network. 5G networks solve these issues efficiently. These networks are equipped to deal with higher volume requirements and therefore, allow for quicker transmission of data in adverse conditions.
4. Smart and High-tech Security
Whether it is for commercial establishments or for automated and smart homes, there are multiple gadgets and systems that are installed to secure the premises on all fronts. These include smart locks and switches, access-controlled entry-exit points, automated parking gates, etc. With 5G-powered networks, the operating speed of these systems will accentuate. Plus, for any malfunctions detected, the technicians will be able to address issues virtually, thereby reducing costly on-site visits.
5. Landlords to Benefit
Not only commercial complexes but intermixing 5G and real estate services will significantly boost the residential segment. Apart from enhancing the occupant’s experience through tech-centric amenities, 5G can reduce operating costs by running sophisticated systems with ease over the internet. Moreover, with an array of smart features onboard, landlords can justify the high rental premiums and earn well.
5G and Real Estate: Associated Challenges
Based on its readiness to adopt new technologies, the real estate sector generally lags behind other industries. This was also highlighted in GSMA’s 2020 Report, where the real estate sector was scored at 1.6/5 in terms of technology readiness. The slow adoption can be attributed to-
- lack of awareness and inadequate funding resources
- reluctance to experiment with new-age technologies
- the involvement of multiple stakeholders such as contractors and partners right from construction to project delivery stage.
- the dilemma of whether the technologies that have worked for the real estate sector across the globe can deliver similar results for the Indian market.
Although 5G offers high-speed connectivity, it operates over much higher radio frequencies in comparison to 4G. Therefore, to use the technology at full potential, substantial infrastructure upgrade, in terms of adding more cell towers, is required.
Working on higher frequencies is one of the significant advantages of using a 5G network. However, as the frequencies increase, their power of transmitting through mediums lowers down. For instance, even a small obstruction, such as a tree or a car, could weaken the signal. This is the reason why combining 5G and real estate or any other services requires the adaptation of small cell site technology. In this, antennas or “cells” have to be placed on buildings, light poles, trees, etc at very close proximities across the network range.
5G, the next generation of mobile and internet technology, is set to replace, or at least modify the existing 4G connections. Apart from experiencing faster download and upload speeds, the network will be able to accomodate an array of systems as its capacity is exceptionally large in comparison to 4G networks.
If we go according to the GSMA’s report, then 5G networks are expected to contribute approximately $450 billion to the Indian economy by 2040. Out of which, the economic impact due to the amalgamation of 5G and real estate/construction sectors will be almost $30 billion. So whether it is a developer, property owner or an occupant, various stakeholders of the real estate sector are going to benefit tremendously from the technology. While property owners will be able to capture CCTV footage live on their devices, smart buildings will be able to capture and evaluate HVAC metrics for better resource utilization.
In order to witness the true benefits of 5G in the real estate industry, more focus has to be laid on developing R&D centers and the requisite infrastructure for implementing this technology. In addition to this, awareness has to be created amongst all stakeholders so as to attract them towards the use of this technology. All in all, the real estate sector has immense “bandwidth” to experiment with new-age technologies backed by 5G networks.