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Why Healthcare and Smart City Apps Drive 5G IoT

Fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology for cellular networks is a successor to fourth-generation (4G) wireless technology. By 2023, Juniper Research anticipates that there will be over 1 billion 5G connections globally.

The technology will provide the data infrastructure for the advancement of wireless communications and for new developments in the Internet of Things (IoT) -- including smart cities and healthcare.

5G IoT Market Development

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, 5G IoT connections will reach 116 million globally by 2026 -- that's increasing from just 17 million connections in 2023.

Juniper analysts predict that the healthcare sector applications and government or other smart city services will drive this outstanding 1,100 percent growth over the next three years.

Juniper examined 5G adoption across key industry sectors -- such as the automotive, mobile broadband, and smart homes -- and forecasts healthcare and smart cities will account for over 60 percent of 5G IoT devices by 2026.

Furthermore, the ultra-low latency and high bandwidth benefits of 5G IoT technology will be the key factors in driving this proliferation of new high-speed wireless telecom network connections.

Juniper anticipates that 5G networks will experience significant growth in smart city services -- owing to their cost-effectiveness in deployment and the ability to carry significant amounts of data.


By 2026, there will be over 60 million 5G smart city connections globally, and Juniper urges city-planning authorities to leverage 5G connectivity as high-bandwidth wireless internet gateways.

Juniper analysts found that the monitoring of transportation networks, including road and rail networks, will be a key to services that require 5G-enabled high-bandwidth cellular network connectivity.

Investment from healthcare providers into 5G-based services will be driven by the need to modernize telehealth services, as the global COVID-19 pandemic exposed inefficiencies in healthcare provision.

Meanwhile, Juniper identified services including telemedicine, connected ambulances and emergency services, and real‑time remote monitoring as key solutions that will be immediately improved by the transition to 5G services.

Outlook for 5G IoT Applications Growth

"5G will enable more efficient and dynamic healthcare provision that was not feasible with 4G or Wi-Fi. However, healthcare providers must first implement 5G in areas which provide a strong return on investment; most notably connected emergency services," said Olivia Williams, industry analyst at Juniper Research.

That said, I'm encouraged that 5G could enable access to new services within healthcare, education, transportation, energy, employment, and public safety for communities that lack wireline broadband.

Moreover, the rise of IoT applications adoption will be attributed to the ongoing growth of 5G network investments. Plus, 5G leverages cloud edge computing apps to make IoT more efficient and effective.

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