How Wireless Promotes Innovation Across Various Industries

How Wireless Promotes Innovation Across Various Industries

January 19, 2017

Last week, CTIA issued an Accenture study on how communities can benefit from 5G in terms of GDP impact ($500B), job creation (3M) and smart city benefits ($160B). Now, a new Deloitte research paper illustrates how four key industries – energy, health, public safety and transportation – are leveraging the wireless platform to innovate and grow.

The Deloitte paper, released yesterday, specifically highlights four key takeaways for industries far beyond the telecommunications sector:

  • Energy. Wireless-enabled smart grids could create $1.8 trillion for the U.S. economy—saving consumers hundreds of dollars per year.
  • Health. Wireless devices could create $305 billion in annual health system savings from decreased costs and mortality due to chronic illnesses.
  • Public Safety. Improvements made by wireless connectivity can save lives and reduce crime. A 60-second improvement in emergency response time translates to a reduction of 8% in mortality.
  • Transportation. Wireless powered self-driving cars could reduce emissions by 40-90%, travel times by nearly 40% and delays by 20%—this innovation could generate $447 billion per year in savings, and, more importantly, save 21,700 lives.

Much of this growth will depend on 5G. This next-generation of wireless will be significantly faster than current networks, connect 100 times the number of devices and provide extremely low response times—a boon for many industry applications like health care and transportation.

Just as importantly, Deloitte notes that increased wireless deployment will spur even more advancements in these key economic verticals.

Don’t just take their – or our – word for it. As Deloitte documents, today’s wireless networks provide a glimpse of how tomorrow’s 5G will transform these industries and greatly improve of our lives in the process.

For instance, Sacramento leveraged wireless technology to reduce energy outages by 37% from 2009 to 2013, while Florida Power & Light customers are now saving on average $191/year on their electricity bills thanks to wirelessly-connected smart meters.

A California health care system saved rural hospital emergency departments over $4,500 on each hospitalization by leveraging telehealth and telemedicine to reduce patient transfers from rural to urban facilities, while a cardiac program in Massachusetts has seen a 51% reduction in heart failure readmissions thanks in part to wirelessly-enabled remote monitoring and data management.

To unlock these benefits, America’s wireless industry is working with the incoming Administration, Congress and federal agencies to speed the arrival of 5G.

But policymakers at all levels of government must act quickly. Because 5G networks – and the economics of deploying those networks – are structured differently than the tall cell towers that might come to mind.

The next-generation of wireless infrastructure is much smaller (the size of a pizza box), and communities will need hundreds of these small cells. This means streamlining zoning regulations in localities around the country. And as Deloitte found, “the communities and industries that offer the most … flexible platforms and regulatory processes will be the ones that benefit the most from innovation and economic growth.”

If communities take action, billions in investment dollars are ready to go—to unlock 5G and speed the growth of every sector of the U.S. economy. That’s the promise of our wireless future.

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