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What Does Huawei's UK 5G Ban Mean For The Internet Of Things?

5G will be crucial for advanced Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and rollout delays could spell trouble for UK IoT innovation

Fri Sep 18 2020



“Much of the innovation in the IoT will depend on 5G, because it is key to everything from machinery, to infrastructure, to vans and cars, communicating with each other in ways that allow better coordination and increased efficiency,” says Peter. 

According to a report from intelligence provider, Assembly Research, these lost efficiency gains could cost the UK economy $23.6 billion (£18.2 billion)—funds that could be invested in IoT innovation.  


Huwawei headquarters, via Wikimedia used under this license

Dr Anindya Ghose, professor of information, operations, and management science at NYU Stern School of Business, agrees that 5G and IoT innovation are intimately tied. Anindya’s research often considers the impact of IoT technology on businesses and individuals.

“5G is laying the foundation for realizing the full potential of IoT,” he says. “Many 5G providers are already adding IoT value by facilitating ecosystem collaboration in smart cities.”

Although 5G infrastructure is crucial for IoT certain applications, it is not the only driving force in IoT innovation. “The UK’s decision about Huawei is certainly relevant, but it’s not the only issue,” notes Krsto Pandza, professor of strategy and innovation at Leeds University Business School, and director of the Center for Technology, Innovation, and Engagement.

Krsto points out that while 5G will be necessary for complex IoT applications like coordinating autonomous vehicles or carrying out robotic surgeries, many other applications are already possible using 4G networks. Traffic routing, fleet management, and domestic applications like smart lighting and fitness trackers are some key examples.