5G is the first mobile generation that is truly shaping the prospects of so many industries and use cases. In order to drive innovative 5G use cases, it is important to first roll-out a 5G network. Subsequently, it is critical to experiment with use cases such as manufacturing automation, and other specific industries for 5G applications.

In terms of use cases, 5G at launch, differentiates itself from 4G at launch, because at the introduction of 4G in 2010, only one use case really existed. This use case was consumer wireless. At the launch of 5G, several use cases for the technology have been identified.

Below, we discuss 5G use cases in 10 different industries. Specifically, we highlight use cases in the industries of manufacturing, energy & utilities, public safety, healthcare, public transport, media & entertainment, automotive, financial services, retail, and agriculture.

Specific 5G Use Cases in Industry - 1 to 5

Manufacturing – 5G Use Cases

Manufacturing Automation

Industrial end-devices like automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are being used on 5G networks. Indeed, the mobility management, coverage, and quality of service assurance of 5G networks provides the reliable communication needed for numerous types of automated guided vehicles. These AGVs include tractors, pallet movers and forklifts. For example, 5G can help forklifts more efficiently move around the factory floor, in an automated manner.

Remote Robotic Control

5G plays a major role in connecting production line robotics by providing:

  • Connectivity for robotics, removing the need for fiber and cable tethering
  • Live remote monitoring of video streams from robotics
  • Low latency-enabled remote-control applications

Energy & Utilities – 5G Use Cases

Grid Monitoring, Control and Protection

The 5G network can provide real-time, flexible routing of electricity flows, depending on generation and consumption levels in different parts of the electrical grid.

Oil Rig Production Analytics

Oil wells equipped with Internet of Things sensors, that connect to the 5G network, have the ability to send and receive data in real-time. This real-time sensor data from the oil wells can identify signals in the data to predict when the wells fall outside of the optimum production ranges.

Public Safety – 5G Use Cases

Surveillance (Smart Cities)

Smart cities is a broad industry category for 5G use cases, within this is surveillance. Surveillance cameras, including body-worn cameras, can transmit real-time Ultra-High-Definition and 360-degree video streams, over the 5G network. Specifically, these video streams can be sent to a control room that monitors busy public places and critical infrastructure.

Infrastructure Management & Maintenance

Thousands of Internet of Things sensors, that connect to the 5G network, can be placed across major infrastructure, such as bridges. In turn, these sensors constantly monitor the vibrations caused by vehicles and trains that cross those bridges every day. Vibrations detected that are deemed abnormal, could be the first sign that part of the bridge is not performing as it should, and an inspection crew would be dispatched.

Healthcare – 5G Use Cases


Telemedicine is remote doctor-patient consultation through a mobile device. This 5G use case moves simple consultations to be over the internet, through video calls. Indeed, these video calls will often take place over the 5G network.

Personal Health Systems

Wearable devices allow for users to monitor, diagnose, and treat chronic diseases. Devices like the Apple Watch and Fitbit will be increasingly connected to the 5G network. By being connected, these devices can collect and analyze broader sets of data about the user. In turn, this allows healthcare to shift from being treatment-based to precautionary.

Public Transport – 5G Use Cases

High-Mobility Connectivity

The signal strength in 5G, facilitates greater mobility, allowing data to be transmitted to a device that is travelling at 500 kilometers (310 miles) per hour. Therefore, 5G allows data transmission in use cases such as high-speed trains and autonomous drones, disrupting these industries. Often, these trains and drones will be travelling at speeds of up to 500 kilometers (310 miles) per hour.

Passenger Distribution

Train sensors can identify empty cabins and send information back to the train platform, over the 5G network. In turn, this information can direct passengers to cabins which have capacity.

Specific 5G Use Cases in Industry - 6 to 10

Media & Entertainment – 5G Use Cases

Cloud Gaming

Cloud gaming is any game-based service where the game is processed remotely in the cloud instead of locally on a console or computer. The lower-latency and faster network speeds of 5G will enable the remainder of gaming to move from the physical console (e.g., PlayStation and Xbox) to the cloud.

Cloud-based gaming allows users to no longer be tied down to the physical location of their console. Cloud gaming examples include GeForce Now (Nvidia), Stadia (Google), PlayStation Now (Sony), Xbox Game Pass (Microsoft), START (Tencent), Project Atlas (Electronic Arts), Hatch (Samsung).

Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality (AR / VR)

AR / VR is used as live event features for audiences and spectators such as replay, multiple angle viewing and live sports betting. Indeed, various AR / VR services are part of watching e-sports and supporting the gaming culture of the stadium.

Latency reduction in 5G is especially important for use cases in the AR / VR industries. This is because, 5G reduces lag times in signals that could provide a literally dizzying experience for people, if lag time were too much.

An example where AR / VR is used, is in the League of Legends Park, an Esports stadium, in Seoul, South Korea. This Esports stadium receives more than 120k visitors per year.

Specifically, League of Legends Park visitors can view messages from other fans in augmented reality when pointing their smartphones in a specific location inside the stadium. Additionally, virtual reality live broadcasting and playbacks are available during games.

Automotive – 5G Use Cases

Autonomous Vehicles

5G enables Cellular Vehicle-To-Everything (or C-V2X) technology, which allows autonomous vehicles to connect to the 5G network and transmit data through:

  • Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V)
  • Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I)
  • Vehicle-to-Network (V2N)
  • Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P)
Autonomous Vehicles 5G Digital Infrastructure-1

Fleet Management

Fleet management uses the 5G network to monitor multiple data streams in real-time from vehicles. Specifically, these data streams include: GPS positioning, speed, trip-time, seat belt use, fuel consumption, vehicle faults, battery voltage, and engine status.

In turn, data is collected that can be used to determine when vehicle parts need replacement or how to better manage drivers. As a result, this real-time monitoring increases the safety and utilization of the vehicle fleet. At the same time, fleet management lowers costs and improves fuel efficiency for the fleet owner.

Financial Services – 5G Use Cases

Loan Monitoring and Collateral Management

Lending money is a massive part of the financial services industry, which 5G use cases can disrupt. Specifically, loans made to people to purchase equipment can be incentivized in a manner that the equipment is properly maintained and used.

For example, if a customer were to take out a loan to purchase a warehouse forklift, and suddenly stop operating the machinery, this could indicate financial difficulty in that customer’s business. Internet of Things solutions, that connect to the 5G network, can help measure loan compliance and trigger a warning of pending loan default.

Micro-Payments on Assets

Assets, such as vehicles, which have financing, but at the same time generate income, is another area that 5G use cases can disrupt. For example, a financed vehicle which is being used by the owner for a ridesharing service like Uber, fits this category.

Specifically, the Uber driver could earn income and then automatically send micropayments towards paying off the vehicle loan after each trip that the driver completes. The 5G network enables the transmission of transaction data to occur faster and more securely. Additionally, as more vehicles connect to the network, 5G becomes important to process many simultaneous transactions.

Retail – 5G Use Cases

Geo-Targeted Advertisement Precision

Better responsiveness through 5G will make geo-targeted offers more accurate and timelier. In 4G, device location relies on satellites-based GPS technology, which can be precise within meters. Whereas in 5G, devices can be located, and measurements taken, within a couple of centimeters.

For example, Ikseon-dong is a neighborhood of Seoul, South Korea which is a trendy area with many popular cafes, restaurants, and shops. This neighborhood receives more than 80k visitors per month. Additionally, the Ikseon-dong community, in terms of area, is only ~500k sqft.

This small area provides services, such as customer-centric discount coupons or promotion of events at local shops, cafes, and restaurants. Therefore, geo-targeted advertisement serves to stimulate this micro economy of small and medium-sized businesses. Indeed, 5G can facilitate geo-targeted advertisements in these specific locations.

Shoppable Videos

Shoppable videos allow for in-video purchases, which could be through live television programs, YouTube, or Netflix. 5G offers more bandwidth (or throughput) to transmit these shoppable videos.

As an example, The Bachelor is an American tv-series with over 8 million viewers per episode. Indeed, it would be very powerful to click on a pair of shoes that someone is wearing in the show and buy them instantaneously. Shoppable videos allow for purchases without any redirects or additional websites.

Agriculture – 5G Use Cases

Connected Machinery

Automated farming equipment (e.g., milking equipment) or vehicles (e.g., harvesting trucks) is an area that 5G can disrupt. Indeed, the 5G network allows a central operator to remotely control this farming machinery.

Farming Drones for Monitoring

Drones monitoring fields, livestock, and autonomous machinery such as driverless harvesting trucks are an important 5G use case. Indeed, these drones can send live high-quality video streams, over the 5G network, back to a central control room.


These are just some of the innovative examples of 5G use cases, in 10 different industries. Overall, 5G use cases extend to a broad set of industries, including manufacturing, energy & utilities, public safety, healthcare, public transport, media & entertainment, automotive, financial services, retail, and agriculture.

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Adam Simmons covers Towers for Dgtl Infra, including American Tower (NYSE: AMT), Crown Castle (NYSE: CCI), SBA Communications (NASDAQ: SBAC), Cellnex Telecom (BME: CLNX), Vantage Towers (ETR: VTWR), IHS Holding (NYSE: IHS), and many more. Within Towers, Adam focuses on the sub-sectors of ground-based cell towers, rooftop sites, broadcast / radio towers, and 5G. Adam has over 7 years of experience in research and writing for Towers.


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