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5 ways indoor 5G will change your life (and mine)

Indoor 5G is set to revolutionize our daily lives in numerous ways. With the majority of our time spent indoors and data consumption predominantly happening indoors, there is a growing need for high-performing indoor 5G networks. It will transform public spaces like airports and shopping malls, boost event experiences, expand technology capabilities in offices, and enable smart manufacturing just to name a few. Indoor 5G also supports your sustainable technology goals. It’s a win-win all the way around.

What is indoor 5G: In conversation with Gemma Swift, Ericsson (left) and Diana Adams, Tech consultant (right)

I have been to many conferences and large indoor sporting events. The one thing that comes to mind when I think about them is the poor mobile network experience. You have probably also experienced this frustration at times. Maybe you were booking a flight on your phone, and the website crashed during your transaction. Maybe you were unable to get a signal at all. Indoor 5G completely transforms the indoor mobile experience. In this article, I will explain why we need high-performing indoor 5G networks, and I will reveal 5 ways indoor 5G will change your life, and mine.


of our time is spent indoors


of data is consumed indoors

According to Ericsson, we spend 90% of our time indoors, and up to 80% of our data is consumed indoors.

With so much of our lives spent inside, it makes sense that we need a 5G solution specifically designed for indoor use cases. We all want a smooth, fast and secure mobile experience everywhere we go. Add to that the fact that we are more connected today than ever. Video conferencing, XR, industrial IoT, robotics, HD/4K video streaming and smart building applications are just a few examples that come to mind.

According to Gemma Swift: Indoor 5G expert at Ericsson, “Communication service providers have invested heavily in outdoor 5G networks, but to enable advanced use cases in the places we spend most of our time, we need to bring 5G indoors. Capacity demand is going to keep growing, with more and more data-hungry 5G applications entering our daily lives. This makes high-performing indoor 5G networks a key enabler for our digital future.”

I agree. With capacity requirements continuously increasing, enterprises need a future-proof, secure solution for busy indoor spaces. Let’s jump into the 5 ways indoor 5G will change your life, and mine.

1. Indoor 5G will bring us a whole new convention center and sports venue experience.

Indoor 5G will bring us a whole new convention center and sports venue experience.

5G already brings massive value to enhance the fan experience in sports stadiums with immersive AR/VR and 5G sports broadcasting. One example which is already in use is Verizon 5G Multi-View. In Verizon’s solution, fans can view seven streams of HD video on one smartphone. This allows them to toggle between angles of play. There is also rewind capabilities, so fans can view instant replays.

Indoor 5G will revolutionize the mobile experience even more in convention centers and sports venues. For example, imagine going to a tech conference and accessing flawless, high-speed connectivity everywhere (wow, that would be amazing, right?). Other examples would be at the Super Bowl or the Olympics.

Imagine not struggling with Wi-Fi and guest logins. I get excited just thinking about it. But it is not just about connectivity for the visitors to the venues. If it is a conference, for example, indoor 5G will also support the more immersive demos. In addition, the venue itself could improve their energy efficiency with 5G-enabled smart building applications (amongst other benefits).

As Gemma said: “Indoor 5G, specifically multi-operator deployments using sharable indoor infrastructure, is a gamechanger for event connectivity.”

2. Indoor 5G will completely transform public spaces. (i.e., airports, college campuses, shopping malls, etc.)

Indoor 5G will completely transform public spaces. (i.e., airports, college campuses, shopping malls, etc.)

Public spaces encompass an indoor 5G use case that will change your life, and mine. I live in Atlanta. The Atlanta airport is the busiest airport in the world. If you have ever traveled through here, you know it is almost impossible to get Wi-Fi coverage. Unfortunately, the mobile network provides weak connectivity at best.

Indoor 5G would be a powerful upgrade to the entire airport experience. Suddenly doing the basics like checking travel arrangements or answering emails would be easy. The airport is just one example of a public space that would benefit from indoor 5G.

Gemma explained: “In order to be at the forefront of the visitor, tenant, and employee experience, big venues like malls, campuses and airports need secure, fast, seamless indoor connectivity for everyone.”

Indoor 5G in these public spaces goes far beyond connectivity though. Think about the emerging use cases these venues would also benefit from. These include AR/VR and personalized digital experiences to support their sales efforts, just to name a few.

Gemma continued: “We are already seeing some examples of this, like checkout-less retail stores and AR-based learning experiences at some of the world’s leading universities.”

3. Indoor 5G will enhance the technology and innovation capabilities in your office (expect bigger, better, easier).

Indoor 5G will enhance the technology and innovation capabilities in your office (expect bigger, better, easier).

I think by now, we all realize that hybrid work models are here to stay. Adding indoor 5G to the mix will create a more secure, human-centric experience for everyone. Indoor 5G can support new data-demanding enterprise applications and devices (yes, 5G laptops are slowly but surely coming our way).

Securing sensitive information is top of mind in every organization. Indoor 5G offers an additional layer of security that identifies and mitigates threats at a network level. Additionally, technologies such as artificial intelligence, extended reality and digital twins will provide huge innovation opportunities for enterprise offices in the future.

You can prepare for this now by implementing indoor 5G. Indoor 5G will also allow you to handle many more devices on your network, thus helping to future-proof your network.

Gemma also pointed out additional benefits to employers: “They can use the network to understand space utilization in real time to optimize facilities. They can also consolidate multiple systems into one set of indoor 5G infrastructure to reduce network maintenance and equipment costs.”

4. Indoor 5G is giving manufacturing a much-needed upgrade.

Indoor 5G is giving manufacturing a much-needed upgrade.

Thanks to intelligent automation, smart manufacturing is here. Smart manufacturing is one of my favorite indoor 5G use cases. One of my clients is an engineering firm that optimizes efficiency on food and beverage production lines across the United States.

Watching them pivot as they transition to smart manufacturing is fascinating. Actions that once required considerable time and effort are now easy. Lowering costs while increasing efficiency is the norm. It is a true transformation.

Gemma is also passionate about smart manufacturing. She said: “Factories today are leveraging 5G to enable intelligent automation and real-time data to enhance operations and efficiency. With unique 5G services like indoor asset tracking, enterprises can further boost efficiency and lower costs because again, they can use one set of infrastructure to provide network coverage, capacity and support 5G capabilities and applications.”

Smart manufacturing will change our lives in many ways. It not only increases safety, security and productivity in manufacturing, it also affects the entire supply chain from beginning to end. Read more in this article about Ericsson’s USA 5G Smart Factory.

5. Indoor 5G will help consumers and enterprises meet their sustainable technology goals, which will change our global society in a positive way for generations to come.

Indoor 5G will help consumers and enterprises meet their sustainable technology goals, which will change our global society in a positive way for generations to come.

According to Ericsson, “Limiting climate change to 1.5°C via Net Zero is a global imperative. We're working to be Net Zero across our value chain by 2040—10 years before the UN goal of 2050.”

Ericsson’s vision for a sustainable future is built into all their solutions, and their Radio Dot System is no exception. It is a cost-effective, modular, high-performance indoor radio system that eradicates capacity bottlenecks inside buildings. The best part? In addition to being the only indoor 5G solution available today that delivers on performance and scale, it also supports your sustainability strategy.

Gemma explained: “Ericsson’s Radio Dot System is up to 70% more energy efficient than legacy solutions, and it takes up 80% less equipment space. It is smaller, sleeker and a lot less power hungry.”

Source: What’s next for indoor networks?

Gemma went on to explain: “By offloading the outdoor network, the industry as a whole can extend device battery life as it requires more effort for the phone to connect to the outdoor network. This would reduce our collective carbon footprint.”

Enterprises who implement this indoor 5G solution and experience the sustainability benefits can act as role models and leaders to encourage other enterprises to do the same. It is important for us all to adopt a sustainability mindset.

Final thoughts

Gemma is passionate about indoor 5G, and for good reason. “In order to serve new and emerging use cases and applications enabled by the low latency and security that comes with 5G, and unlock all the value 5G brings, we need high-performing indoor 5G networks. Just think about the level of capacity demand that 5G use cases will put on the network per sqm indoors.”

As Gemma and I both looked ahead, we also reflected on the technologies we love that would not be possible without 4G. Gemma immediately thought of Spotify and YouTube. For me, it is video conferencing and IoT applications.

I work in IT, so security is at the forefront of every decision I make. It is a balancing act to meet my clients’ security expectations without creating even more security hurdles that will interrupt their workflow. The added layer of security that indoor 5G provides will help me sleep better at night.

We are both excited about what is to come as indoor 5G continues to be deployed, but we do not have to wait to see its benefits. This technology is already making an impact in the world today.

As Gemma pointed out: “Indoor 5G is the unsung hero of digitalization. When you hear that a major manufacturer has increased operational efficiencies thanks to indoor 5G, or that thousands of fans traveling to a major sporting event had a great connectivity experience in the stadiums which made their trip more enjoyable, it makes me warm and fuzzy inside.”

I feel the same way, Gemma.

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