IoT Network Certified and Our 5G Future: Transforming Lives and Industries

September 7, 2023

By: Tom Sawanobori, Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, CTIA

5G’s nationwide networks were launched just a few years ago, and 5G is already changing life as we know it. The advent of 5G has facilitated a significant increase in the number of IoT devices and applications, boosting business operations, bolstering the economy, and providing quality-of-life improvements for people across the nation.

International standards bodies and programs like the CTIA Certification™ IoT Network Certified™ program are a big part of this success, ensuring devices meet rigorous standards to address the specific needs of the people and enterprises who use them.

Transforming Industries

Every day, a new and exciting cellular-enabled IoT device is introduced to the world. These products, which were once considered science fiction, are now becoming a reality, and they’re being used in various areas of our lives—from our homes and communities to our businesses, farms, and factories. As a result, IoT technology is fundamentally reshaping how we live, work, play, and tap into our creative potential.

  • Autonomous vehicles. Wireless driver support systems use artificial intelligence to innovate and streamline fleet operations, improving efficiency and reducing accidents.
  • Industrial IoT/Manufacturing. 5G’s quick responsiveness and high-speed communication enable autonomous robots to perform complex tasks and react in real-time—making factory floors safer.
  • Food processing. Sensors coupled with cellular modems are helping food processors to address one of their industry’s biggest challenges—food storage stability.
  • Entertainment and gaming. Examples abound, from 5G-powered augmented reality experiences at live concerts and sporting events to 5G-powered competitive racing drones.
  • Utilities. Remote monitoring of power grids reduces outages and improves energy consumption management, enhancing residents’ lives in cities and rural areas.
  • Smart cities. Cities are embracing major improvements from cellular IoT connectivity, including smart transportation systems, parking, safety, lighting, and other benefits.
  • Smart agriculture. Farms need scalable technology to fuel innovation and lead to a prosperous future. 4G and 5G-connected devices connect sensors covering a wide swath of farmland to monitor water usage and crop growth. Advanced wireless networks are supporting the interpretation of massive amounts of sensor data through their broad coverage, high capacity, and edge computing.
  • Enterprise connectivity. Businesses use cellular modems to maintain connectivity and diminish the adverse impact of system outages.
  • Public safety and healthcare. Connected sensors are alerting public safety authorities about emergencies before they become disasters. In the future, wearable sensors and wireless devices will enable surgery patients to recover safely at home.

Wireless IoT in Action: Manufacturing

Let’s take a look at some specific examples of wireless IoT’s impact on manufacturing. Wireless-enabled IoT enhances manufacturing efficiency, reduces costs, enables flexibility, and improves safety and security in several ways. It enables manufacturers to:

  • Better predict maintenance needs. Sensors measure and track equipment performance, alerting employees to the need for repairs, which can be performed through robotics.
  • Increase safety. Machines can be deployed to perform dangerous tasks, increasing productivity and protecting workers while allowing for process changes and customization.
  • Improve processes from end-to-end. Segmented workflows—like assembly or delivery—can operate seamlessly, and manufacturers can track and manage them step-by-step.

IoT Network Certified: Paving the Way for Certified IoT Innovation

The high speeds of 5G, coupled with innovative and interconnected IoT devices, pave the way for a paradigm shift in how industries do business—and how consumers thrive at home, work, and school. The powerful combination of 5G and IoT will drive breakthroughs in precision agriculture, smart cities, and industrial automation, among countless other use cases.

None of these benefits could be realized without a trusted body that affirms devices and their components adhere to international standards. CTIA Certification is the cellular industry’s certification authority, and the IoT Network Certified program was crafted to meet the specific needs of the IoT community.

To learn more about IoT Network Certified, visit

A full overview of the IoT Network Certified program is available here.