The Intersection of Big Data and 5G

Big Data, as the name suggests is a term that describes large sets of data. It can be structured and unstructured. It’s not the amount of data we are concerned of but what we do with the data is what matters i.e. applying data science principles to it and drawing some useful insights. This article is about exploring the world of Big Data and what it has to offer. Also, we will describe the concept of 5G and how it is interconnected with the Big Data.

Big Data:

Big Data is driven by the internet of things. If you don’t know what internet of things is, it is just the computing devices embedded in everyday objects that send and receive data, an inter-network of the everyday things. Mobile phones have significantly increased the generation of Big Data and the number of connected devices is expected to reach 50 billion by 2020. Data generation is expanding at an astonishing pace. Every minute, YouTube users upload 400 hours of new video, while Instagram users generate 2.5 million posts. IBM’s recent report suggests that each day, 2.5 Quintillion bytes of data is created! It is predicted that the amount of data generated in 2020 would reach an astounding amount of 40 trillion gigabytes. It is 44 times greater than that in 2009. Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the world of Big Data.

Let’s discuss some of the basic features of Big Data. Big Data consists of four main components:

  1. Volume: It refers to the amount of data, as to how much data is generated.
  2. Variety: It suggests the type of data and data structures a particular set of data contains. For example, if it’s an audio data, video data or both. If it is Geo-spatial data or log files. These types of data are associated with a variety of applications such as stock trading, healthcare advertising etc.
  3. Velocity: Velocity depicts the processing of data in a timely way to draw the required results. The more fast and accurate the speeding process of data is the more data can be analyzed in a shorter span of time.
  4. Value: It essentially depicts how much worthy this data is. Such rich information can open up new doors to big opportunities. These Big Data sets and its analysis can help create new algorithms that could train artificial intelligence to do some wonderful things.

How Is Big Data Analyzed?

Now you’re probably wondering that where this Big Data is stored and accessed? Well, that’s where the concept of cloud computing kicks in. Cloud storage is simply storing data or backing up data in a space that is away from its original source and can be accessed easily. The whole process of analyzing Big Data can be divided into the following processes:

  1. Data Acquisition: As the name suggests, refers to the process of acquiring raw data from various sources either from the original source or through any backup sources. Data can be acquired through online sources, social media or offline surveys as well. In-fact, data can be acquired even from sensors and other devices connected to the internet.
  2. Data Pre-Processing: It refers to the operations performed on raw data such as compression or encryption. At this stage we are not really analyzing the data, we’re only sorting it (in the simplest terms). We are just making the data ready for analysis in a comfortable and programmable way.
  3. Data Transportation: It refers to the process of moving data to different centers for analyzing it.
  4. Data Analysis: It is the main process in which various tools and methods are used to analyze data and extract useful insights that can be used to develop algorithms or unlock new potential for further usage.

Now Enter 5G:

Now that you have a clear understanding about what Big Data is and how it is processed, it is time now for us to go a little deeper and try to understand the concept of 5G and how it is interconnected with Big Data.

First of all, what is 5G? To put this in a simple way, 5G is a wireless technology that is offering a staggering increase in transmission bandwidth, theoretically 10 gigabits per second (GBit/s).

To put this in perspective, imagine downloading an entire 1.25 GB movie in one second. That’s amazing. Truly amazing! It’s supposed to be launched by 2020. Now just imagine this; you’re capable of downloading a 1 GB file in 1 second. It means it would take 10 seconds to download 10 GB of a file (Of course, it all depends on the region you’re using 5G but we’re examining it theoretically). Downloading huge data in just a short span of time is directly pointing to Big Data. It means tremendous mobile traffic will be there and to handle all of this traffic, companies are incorporating massive communication, caching, and computing resources. This much traffic can create back-haul congestion and to mitigate it, special measures are being taken. The concept of reducing latency also comes with it. Certain cloud computing technologies will be integrated with the mobile technologies to facilitate computing intensive technologies such as augmented reality and interactive gaming. In short, 5G will revolutionize the handling of Big Data and will significantly improve communication, caching and computing capabilities. 5G wireless technology will also play a crucial role in Big Data pre-processing due to its 24/7 availability and the impact it can have on network storage capacities and computing capabilities.

Let’s apply the process of analyzing Big Data discussed above in a simple example. Internet of things devices can provide us with all the raw data (Data Acquisition). Edge caching/ computing can perform certain operations on this data such as compression/sorting operations (Data Pre-processing). 5G wireless networks can transport data at a fast rate to different centers for analyzing (Data Transportation) and finally, those centers will analyze the data according to their needs. You can see that 5G acts as a bridge between data sources and data centers as in transporting the data from the source to the center at a much faster rate.

Big Data and Performance:

Big Data can also improve performance. But how? As we have discussed it earlier that Big Data helps us drawing out some useful insights so that we could develop certain strategies to maximize profit as well as performance. For example, through Big Data analytics we can maximize revenue, efficiently manage network resources and enhance user experience. Big Data analytics can show us the weak points we have in our systems and what we can do to mitigate them.


We are now familiar with the basic concept of what Big Data is, how it is processed and what benefits we can get from it. We also learned about 5G and its role in Big Data processing. We live in a day and age in which everything is digital. We now rely on technology to do the hard work for us to make our life easy. It can be rightly stated;

“Where there is technology, there is data and where there is data, there is some information that can help us improve it”

(This article was authored by Research Nest’s Technical Writer Zeeshan Mushtaq)

Clap and Share if you liked this one, and do follow “The Research Nest” for more insightful content.