The Role of Artificial Intelligence Driven 5G Networks in COVID-19 Outbreak: Opportunities, Challenges, and Future Outlook

Abubakar A. I., Omeke K. G., Öztürk M., Hussain S., Imran M. A.

Frontiers in Communications and Networks, vol.1, pp.4, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


There is no doubt that the world is currently experiencing a global pandemic that is reshaping our daily lives as well as the way business activities are being conducted. With the emphasis on social distancing as an effective means of curbing the rapid spread of the infection, many individuals, institutions, and industries have had to rely on telecommunications as a means of ensuring service continuity in order to prevent complete shutdown of their operations. This has put enormous pressure on both fixed and mobile networks. Though fifth generation mobile networks (5G) is at its infancy in terms of deployment, it possesses a broad category of services including enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC), and massive machine-type communications (mMTC), that can help in tackling pandemic-related challenges. Therefore, in this paper, we identify the challenges facing existing networks due to the surge in traffic demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and emphasize the role of 5G empowered by artificial intelligence in tackling these problems. In addition, we also provide a brief insight on the use of artificial intelligence driven 5G networks in predicting future pandemic outbreaks, and the development a pandemic-resilient society in case of future outbreaks.