The 5G Mobile phone is bound to “build” a revolutionary wave in the operation of construction sites. Telstra has introduced the 5G network, under development since 2016, with more than 200 sites 5G sites operational across Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide Canberra, Perth Gold Coast and Toowoomba. This network was introduced in advance of the launch of the Samsung S10 5G mobile in Australia this May: the introductory 5G phone to be presented in Australia.

Sure, it will be amazing to conduct vivid teleconferences, stunning virtual reality presentations and cinematic movie viewings over your phone. Yet what are the benefits of the 5G technology for the building design industry? Well in the eyes of Burcin Kaplanoglu, Executive Director and Innovation Officer, Oracle Construction and Engineering, the 5G revolution offers numerous benefits, including speed, real-time data collection, reliability and capacity, higher bandwidth speeds, negligible latency, and scalability. 5G will in fact deliver 10 to 100 times faster speeds with a low latency from one to 10 milliseconds–providing up to 10 to 100 times more capacity than the current long-term evolution (LTE) networks.

He regards 5G as an enabler, promising improved connectivity that will benefit businesses, especially when it comes to data collection, capture and analysis/evaluation. And in 5G, these processes happen in real time—thus allowing any business to run faster and more efficiently and enhancing workplace connectivity.

On site, 5G will allow those in the building design and other industries to facilitate the ability to monitor the health, location, status and specifications of assets in real-time.

Site administrators now can check to see if site machinery is in good, usable working order. They can check for updates to building plans, or get the status of orders for window frames, fire extinguishers, or other equipment needed to keep the construction schedule on track.

Also, the high bandwidth and low levels of latency characteristic of 5G should help to enhance data capture across project delivery processes. This could enhance the visibility of data across projects and contribute to the formulation of informed design decisions, and help to eliminate issues and changes during construction and avoid repeated work.

In terms of video caption, building designers can use 5G to deploy technology that will record, organise and analyse sizable quantities of video related information—and inexpensively. Now some team members won’t have to report onsite, and everyone will know exactly what’s going on, on site.

5G also enables a more intensive rollout of sensors to facilitate data collection. Along with enhancing transparency and efficiency by way of improved material tracking, sensors can confirm in real-time the team’s adherence to safety protocols.

Above all, 5G can guarantee through its speed, reliability and capacity that site plans are updated in real-time, as each action and activity is actually completed. This feature will minimise risk and catch mistakes early.

Particularly helpful to building design teams will be the prospect of using 5G for applications like remote control of vehicles and machinery.

Of course, each form of technology comes complete with its share of concerns—and in the case of 5G, the chief worry is security. The more devices used as a part of any project, the more opportunity that espionage perpetrators and cyber criminals have to get valuable info about said project. Furthermore, even among team members, site coordinators will have to determine who can see it.

Kaplanoglu says that organisations will need to employ a strong, solid security strategy that controls the use and accessibility of all devices inherent—based on informational tiers assigned to each device, according to its level of risk. In this way, it will be easy to monitor and manage potential security risks.

Security strategies also should specify the protocol to follow in the event of a security breach. It should be known automatically as to who deals with the issue and how it is managed.

Once the methods of regulation, security and project management are established, Kaplanoglu believes that 5G technology will offer incredible potential—potential that could be put to revolutionary use in the building design industry.