5G and Beyond for Contact Tracing
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The COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly raised the need for technological solutions capable to trace contacts of people and provide location-based analytics. Several countries have adopted proximity-based (short-range) technologies, such as Bluetooth, which however appear hindered by deployment issues, security leakages, lack of reliability, and data governance concerns. This paper posits that 5G and beyond can play a primary role in contact tracing and group movement monitoring. Contact tracing based on 5G location-based analytics benefits from the pervasive deployment of cellular networks, the several years of effort to design cellular standards for localization and analytics, and the best practices of cellular operators to handle location data.