Power sector transformation continues as regulatory initiatives strive to keep pace. Capital expenditures in the power and utilities industry continue to rise with the driving forces of grid modernization, cyberthreats, resilience to weather events, etc. The challenges that we have seen utilities face is disruption as a consequence of the penetration of prosumers- energy consumers who are also able to generate and deliver power back to the grid and consequent falling revenues from traditional models.
Traditional cost-of-service regulatory structure often does not encourage innovation nor incentivize the investments necessary to satisfy customers’ evolving needs. How do utilities survive? The coming rollout of 5G cellular communications will give utility companies another connectivity option, as well as a potential revenue source. What is 5G Really? How should we look at it and how can we use it to innovate? Should I wait for 5G to start a new project? How are we moving forward with 4G?
5G will offer faster throughput, more efficient service deployment through network virtualization and cloud computing or mobile edge computing. We will also be able to connect thousands more devices than previous technologies. This will enable visionary smart cities applications for parking, lighting and traffic management. It’s not just connecting more devices, it’s connecting more data points to make better decisions. 5G will allow for better energy efficiency, up to 90% less energy, better data volume (more users at once) and under 10ms latency which allows for AI and VR to be an actuality and no longer a dream! Lastly we tie in the network reliability of 99.9%. All of these components can help utilities to build a foundation for transformation. For the utility and remote automation sector, 5G technology will help unleash the next wave of smart grid features and efficiency through low-cost connections, improved monitoring capabilities and better forecasting of energy needs.