How 5G will Fuel AI

Why 5G will take AI to the Next Level

5G is more than just a wireless network upgrade. The fifth generation mobile network technology has been anticipated for its benefits to a number of other technologies, including in AI (Artificial Intelligence). With 5G boasting of speeds as high as 10 GB per second and latency as low as 5 milliseconds, there’s reason enough to expect AI advancements in unprecedented ways.

AI, in itself, has several beneficial applications to other technologies, and even more when coupled with 5G. Take the Internet of Things, for instance (IoT) — imagine over a million AI-enabled IoT devices per square mile powered by 5G, and the potentials become clear.

The business world also appreciates the potentials of AI applications. For example, a recent Ericsson survey of senior executives and decision-makers from 132 telecom companies indicates that over 50% of service providers will fully integrate AI in some form by 2020. The surveyed executives also point to an increase in the workload of AI-powered facilities as the most expedient impact 5G will have on Artificial Intelligence.

Telecom executives tag AI as a great impact within core network activities worldwide.

The impact goes beyond that, however. In this article, we take a deeper look at five significant ways that 5G will fuel AI-powered algorithms.

5 ways 5G will fuel AI

AI applications are everywhere. These days, seeking help from a live chat agent on any company’s website will likely result in a you getting answers from an AI-powered chatbot. Communicating with Siri on your iPhone is also an AI phenomenon. Even those annoying pop up ads become very helpful when they suggest exactly what you’ve been looking for, thanks to AI.

But AI applications go beyond your smartphone) and other personal devices. The technology’s impact is already being felt across several industries. With the emergence of 5G, AI’s impacts will be felt even more. Here’s a look at some of the ways.

1. 5G and the emergence of AI-chips for edge devices

While so much has been made of cloud computing in recent years, companies are now exploring edge computing as a better alternative. Right now, most technology users have their information stored in the cloud, where it is susceptible to hacks and other privacy concerns. Cloud computing also presents latency issues that may slow down response time given the communication between a device and the remote cloud server. Additionally, maintaining and hosting those servers cost a lot of money, which is another drawback.

Edge computing, on the other hand, puts enough power on the device itself to ease some cloud responsibility. Such local processing reduces security concerns on the part of whatever service provider is currently in possession of all your personal data. It also means less costs for maintaining those servers, which, of course, is a significant benefit.

The next generation of AI technologies will operate on edge thanks to the phenomenal bandwidth and transmission capacities of 5G

By bringing together the best of cellular technology and Wi-Fi on a cross-technology interface, 5G’s coverage of edge devices will not be limited to an indoor or outdoor location. Bringing edge computing to personal and business devices would work best through creation of AI-enabled chips that are compatible with radio signals from various radio channels and access technologies. 5G eases this process with low latency, high bandwidth and speeds — much similar to its benefits for cloud computing. But with AI-enabled chips being the go-to solution for edge devices, 5G increases edge benefits even more.

2.  Real-time data collection for AI data streams

By supporting as many as a million connected edge devices per square kilometer – a capacity that outranks that of 4G by several folds – 5G will enable companies amass unprecedented amounts of data for their AI data streams.

This outcome has been dubbed “multi-access edge computing”. Expect a constant flood of fresh data inflows to AI data streams from mobile phones, autonomous vehicles, drones, connected home appliances, sensors, and beyond.

The result will be a faster rate of AI technologies development, thanks to greater quality data supply for streamlining AI analytics and machine learning models.

3. 5G’s high data speeds and low-to-zero latency for AI applications

The mantra of 5G’s ultra-low latency and high speeds have become a common selling point. But this isn’t just a selling point; it’s likely to fulfil even more than the promised benefits. AI applications already  take on a vast workload under current LTE network technologies. Factor in the promise of a network that’s 10 to 100 times faster than 4G LTE, and the benefits of 5G to network-dependent AI applications become much clearer.

5G will furnish AI models with bandwidths that support the simultaneous transmission of multiple bitstreams of data in opposite directions between base stations and edge devices. With upload and download speeds of up to 20 gigabits per second, AI developers will be able to work conveniently with real-time streaming.

4.  AI Data Processing Moved to the Edge

Remember edge computing? Well, its applications go beyond personal devices, and into the IoT worlds of autonomous vehicles, smart cities, industrial automation, and nowcasting (the science of predicting events just as they’re about to happen). These industries and technologies rely heavily on AI, and where the edge is concerned, AI chips and data processing are of  even greater importance.

A 5G and AI combination means the faster emergence of edge computing, as the cellular network technology envelopes cloud, networking systems, and data centers that are fed through IoT devices. This will basically bridge the gap between devices, the edge, and the cloud for a better efficient process.

5. Enhanced Sophistication and Energy Efficiency of Autonomous Vehicles

The transport industry will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the 5G-AI synergy. By enabling AI technologies in self-driving cars to process data at the edge, 5G will allow autonomous cars to become better synced with traffic navigation grids as well as information from other IoT devices in the vehicle’s ecosystem. This means easy identification of better routes to reduce commute time and fuel consumption, along with quicker responses to real-time threats to avoid accidents.


AI applications are wide ranging. From personal devices to business endeavors, the technology has already been adopted extensively under current network technologies. With the emergence of 5G, the impacts will be even greater. AI is a network-dependent technology, and 5G is the most anticipated network technology to date. With the promise of data speeds that are 10 to 100 times faster than current LTE networks, along with low-to-zero latency, there’s no doubt that 5G will fuel AI to greater levels.

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