When 5G Meets the Internet of Things
Picture for a moment the smart homes you’ve heard so much about—or smart offices, for that matter. What makes them special? They feel futuristic, but how do they make our lives better? Convenience. By connecting devices throughout our homes and workplaces, they open up ways for us to communicate with each other more easily, enjoy ourselves, work productively and have fuller lives.
But if we’re going to embrace the idea of connecting the real world with the online world, we need to know we can rely on that connection. 5G’s high-speed connectivity and very low latency make near-instant communication possible. And that makes a whole host of scenarios possible, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT).
However, you still need to get 5G to the right place. So, we created our 5G CPE unit, Omni, to do just that. When you plug a 5G SIM card into this compact piece of futuristic technology, it converts the 5G mobile signal into a stable Wi-Fi connection. Now you can enjoy the benefits of 5G in your home or at the office—even public spaces.
● Unlimited gaming – unwind by playing the latest games with your friends online, in crisp detail and beautiful colours. You don’t even need to own a games console: you’re gaming in the cloud now.
● Smart energy management – you’re on your way to the airport, but realise you forgot to turn the heating off at home. No problem. You can access your connected thermostat through your phone.
● Smooth video conferencing – video calls don’t always go smoothly. But 5G means no dropped connections and no lag, so you can share your screen in 4K and see your colleagues perfectly.
● No bandwidth competition – you’re at a huge concert and they play your best friend’s favourite song. You want to send her a video, but there are thousands of other fans with the same idea. Good job 5G has enough bandwidth for everyone.
● Working anywhere – there’s a massive project due with the client tomorrow, and you’ve got to gather everything together. But you aren’t in the office. Don’t panic: you can download gigabytes of files from the company servers in seconds. Then upload the new version in a few more.
While this vision of the IoT future is our goal, we knew when we began developing Omni that getting there would depend on technologies that hadn’t been designed yet. And two of those technologies sit at the core of our 5G CPE, working together.
The O-Reserve 5G Antenna system uses the Sub-6GHz 5G spectrum, automatically choosing four of its eight antennae at a time to get the best possible signal. At the same time, the O-Motion 5G Antenna can rotate itself through 360° so its own two antennae can pick up the optimum mmWave signal. These two systems, working in harmony, are supported by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 modem, with a powerful chip that uses both 5G spectrums for the strongest, most reliable signal possible—wherever you place the Omni.
These breakthroughs have only been possible because of extensive collaboration with our partners. Working with Qualcomm, Ericsson and Keysight Technologies has allowed us to perfect our 5G designs, and test them thoroughly. And we’re excited about what they could allow us to bring to the worlds of personal devices, home life, work and travel.
For an immediate demonstration of what 5G can enable, visitors to Mobile World Congress Shanghai can stop at the China Unicom booth. There they can experience a magical augmented reality snow storm, right on the stand.