Impact of the Emerging 5G Network Technology on Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Written by Stanley Teo, MSIPMM

by Stanley Teo, MSIPMM

Impact of the Emerging 5G Network Technology on Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Written by Stanley Teo, MSIPMM

by Stanley Teo, MSIPMM

by Stanley Teo, MSIPMM

Way back in 1860 when the Scottish physicist, James Clerk Maxwell predicted the existence of radio waves; the wireless and mobile telephony technologies evaluations had begun and this has never stopped. Today, mobile communication has evolved a great deal in a few decades, in which come through the various generations of devices and networks compatible with new standards of telecommunication.

5G – More than just another G

If you have heard anything about 5G, it is probably the speed figures. Today’s best 4G tech, LTE Advanced, is advertised at 225 megabits per second for downloads, and up to one gigabit per second in technology demonstrations. That is pretty astounding, especially since LTE started at a top speed of about 12Mbps back in 2010. A lot of work has been done since then, and 5G codifies and expands those advancements, promising over 10 Gbps.

Role of Digital Technology in Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management (SCM) is concerned with the flow of products and information between supply chain members’ organizations. Recent development in technologies enables the organization to avail information easily in their premises. These technologies are helpful to coordinates the activities to manage the supply chain. The cost of information is decreased due to the increasing rate of technologies. In an integrated supply chain where materials and information flow in a bi-directional, Manager needs to understand that information technology is more than just computers.

Enterprise Resource Planning and Electronic Data Interchange

ERP system achieve a high level of integration by utilizing a single data model, developing a common understanding of what the shared data represents and establishing a set of rules for accessing data.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) refers to computer-to-computer exchange of business documents in a standard format. EDI describe both the capability and practice of communicating information between two organizations electronically instead of traditional form of mail, courier, & fax. EDI supply chain partners can overcome the distortions and exaggeration in supply and demand information by improving technologies to facilitate real time sharing of actual demand and supply information.

The 5G Enabler

Impact of 5G Network Communication for Supply Chains

1. Significantly faster data speeds

Currently, 4G networks are capable of achieving peak download speeds of one gigabit per second, though in practice it’s never that fast. With 5G, this would increase to 10Gbps.

2. Autonomous (auto pilot) Cars‎

Due to the sensors on the Autonomous car, they will be able to pack closer together, allowing more cars on the road and therefore shorting traffic times The lack of human error whilst driving, will result in a much safer journey.

3. IoT – a more “connected world”

The Internet of Things (wearable’s, smart home appliances, and connected cars) is expected to grow exponentially over the next 10 years, and it will need a network that can accommodate billions of connected devices. Part of the goal behind 5G is to provide that capacity, and also to be able to assign bandwidth depending on the needs of the application and user.

4. Virtual Reality

As far as the benefits of virtual reality is concerned. There are a lot of possibilities. People around the world are trying to find out advantages of virtual reality in education, virtual reality in medical education, virtual reality medicines, virtual reality education software and much more.

a) Healthcare: Healthcare professionals require a vast amount of professional experience and skill, especially if they are in surgical or trauma-related sectors.

b) Manufacturing: Manufacturing is yet another industry where one wrong move can have dire consequences. For example, an employee who isn’t familiar with machine controls might accidentally injure themselves or a co-worker while performing their job duties.

c) Sales: There are a variety of applications for Virtual Reality training in the sales industry. Distributed workforce can learn about new products by interacting with the item in a VR setting. Instead of simply reading about the features and benefits, they can see them in action.

d) Law Enforcement & Military Training: Law enforcement employees can learn how to read a suspect’s body language during an interrogation or how to securely disarm an assailant. Police officers don’t have to deal with a steep learning curve because virtual reality immerses them in situations they will commonly encounter in the field. Virtual Reality training can also be used for military training. Defence personnel have the ability to explore foreign landscapes and engage in realistic scenarios that prepare them for battle.

e) Real Estate: Real estate agents have the opportunity to tour properties in an instant to see if they are suitable for their clients, instead of having to attend numerous open houses. More experienced real estate professionals can use VR to mentor new hires and show them the ropes. For example, the real estate agent can show them how to stress the selling points of the property or help them build their negotiation skills.

f) Hospitality & Tourism: Many of us already use Google Earth and Maps to explore foreign locales. However, Virtual Reality takes this to the next level by allowing us to walk around in faraway destinations. Travel agents can take a tour of accommodations to determine if they are recommendation-worthy; Hotel managers can also utilize Virtual Reality training to teach their staff how to prepare the rooms and the proper way to interact with guests. One of the most significant benefits of Virtual Reality training is that it is soft-skill compatible, and soft skills are essential in the hospitality industry.


In my opinion, these are just a few industries that can benefit from Virtual Reality training. However, this technology can be used in virtually every niche, thanks to its versatility. Of cause, not only Virtual Reality can help us fill performance gaps, build skills, and impart product knowledge with more effective.

5G wireless likely won’t be used by many businesses until 2020, but the wireless industry is aggressively moving to experiment with technologies that could make up a standardized version of 5G. Moreover, service providers and vendors now are work out use cases for businesses so that companies can take advantage of the next-generation technology when it arrives. 5G, Lets should wait and see.


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LEWINSKY, A. (n.d.). 5 Benefits of Virtual Reality that Everyone must know. Retrieved 03 19, 2017, from

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About the Author: Stanley Teo has substantive years of experience in the logistics sector and customer service. He has acquired experiences in bonded warehouse operations and has extensive knowledge in handling excise documentation for global trade.

Stanley is a qualified member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (MSIPMM). He is currently completing a course at SIPMM Academy on Advanced Diploma in Logistics and Supply Management (ADLSM).