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February 10, 2020

How 5G Technology Will Change the Jobsite

5gIn general, there is endless chatter about how broadband and cellular networks will continue to evolve. More power, capacity, and speed are key points of the discussion, and it’s no surprise as to why: as technology enables more and more services to be delivered via the internet, there is an ongoing need for networks to provide the bandwidth that makes those services possible.

One of the emerging technologies that is already changing the jobsite is the fifth-generation wireless network, otherwise known as 5G. While the broadband and wireless industries are locked in an arms race of sorts in terms of which can deliver faster speeds sooner, the overall winner will be businesses and consumers who will continue to access more video content over their home and mobile devices with seemingly limitless capacity.

Of course, if delivering such content over a mobile device – such as on a jobsite – is essential to your industry or job, 5G will be as transformative as anything your home internet provider can deliver to your doorstep. As construction companies continue to rely on mobile devices including phones and tablets to reduce their reliance on paper documents and visits to the home office, 5G will certainly be of interest to technology decision-makers in construction companies around the world.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways 5G speeds could improve jobsite performance for the better in the not-too-distant future.

Streamlining Communications with 5G Connectivity

The construction industry in general is a huge benefactor of increased speeds at lower costs. Given how much work is done remotely, and how many teams rely on consistent, high-capacity speeds to deliver large volumes of data to multiple project partners, buzzwords like 5G are truly meaningful if it makes handheld devices more powerful than they already are.

Some of the scenarios that technology pundits point to as potentially impacting the jobsite are remote time management tools that virtually clock employees in and out of a jobsite. With 5G, the potential exists to incorporate visual proof of completed jobs, or obstructions that add unforeseen hours to projects that had a lower initial time estimate. Friction often develops between workers, management, and owners at these points in a project, so if visual proof can be added to time management tools, there’s a potential to reduce conflict.

One of the ways consumers are already seeing this type of evidence-based project management is delivery drivers who snap a picture of a delivered package, clearly sitting in front of a homeowner’s door or mailbox. While tracking numbers may have provided some comfort in the past that a parcel was delivered, visual proof of that delivery is even more powerful. The same logic applies to a jobsite worker who is showing evidence of completed work or reasons why a job remains undone.

Using the Cloud to Improve Data Access

While it may seem like a simple gain given the immense investment required to make a 5G cellular network a reality, there are other benefits as well. Simply reducing the potential for conflict on a jobsite is an attractive benefit, especially since construction remains an industry that has a high probability for disagreements to arise due to the number of partners, subcontractors, and other parties involved in completion of a project. Visual verification not only helps improve accountability, but it may also reduce the tendency for miscommunications to arise.

Of course, this is also achievable through cloud-based construction project collaboration tools that exist right now. Cloud-based technology makes it possible for teams to remain connected in real-time, 24/7, with unfettered access to project documentation, 3-D models, RFIs, invoices, and more. While 5G promises to streamline communications in the future, cloud technology is doing it right now with project management tools that decrease dependency on paper-based documentation and reduces the time it takes to share vital project information.

United Solutions can help you plan for now and the future. When your jobsite will be powered by 5G technology remains unknown, but construction software tools from Sage can help improve project communications via the cloud in the here and now. 

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