5G will change the world as we know it, as we near a reality of interconnected cities, cars and devices.
Over the past few years, we've been bombarded with 5G hype and chatter from all manner of industries - everyone is highly anticipating its arrival. Unlike previous iterations of the network standard, 5G is leaps and bounds beyond 3G or even 4G, and its applications will be widespread and world-changing.
Unlike it predecessors, 5G wireless technology delivers ultra low latency, super fast download and upload speeds, and an overall greater user experience.
In fact, mobile operators are expected to spend $1.1 trillion worldwide between 2020 and 2025 in mobile CAPEX, roughly 80 per cent of which will be on 5G networks, GSMA data forecasted. Economists estimate the global economic impact of 5G in new goods and services will reach $12 trillion by 2035 as 5G moves mobile technology from connecting people to people and information, towards connecting people to everything, the World Economic Forum stated.
Here are 5 ways 5G will change the world.
1. Smart cities
In 5 to 10 years, the smart cities we've grown up seeing in sci-fi TV shows and films will be closer to reality than we think. 5G will help power The Internet of Things (IoT), where millions of devices will be interconnected through its power and capabilities. Traffic lights, street cameras, sensors, smart displays and more will all be linked by the power of 5G, where the super fast real-time transfer of data will help improve our lives in all manner of ways. From dimming street lights that save electricity when no one is near them, to traffic lights that manage the flow of vehicles based on a street by street basis, the possibilities are truly endless.
2. Autonomous cars
Just like with smart cities, 5G and IoT will help power city-wide fleets of autonomous cars that will communicate with one another to ensure convenient automated travel free of accidents.
According to a study by the United States' National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94% of car accidents are caused by drivers. Vehicles, environmental factors, and other unknown reasons are responsible for 2% of crashes each. Given that approximately 1.35 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes, 5G and autonomous vehicles will literally save lives.
In the midst of this coronavirus pandemic, we were immediately reminded of the importance of telemedicine in a world where social distancing has become the norm. Our bosses and colleagues aren't the only ones we've been having video calls with, but our doctors too.
5G will not only improve existing remote consulting services, but it will also make remote surgery much more feasible for individuals and countries with a lack of access to high-tier, qualified surgeons. We have seen a company like Proximie in the region already develop and employ this technology, and 5G will only serve to advance their efforts.
4. Industry 4.0 and manufacturing
It is widely accepted that 5G will fuel the fourth industrial revolution, which will be marked by a rise in AI, automation and inter-connectivity. Just like with interconnected autonomous vehicles, imagine the output and efficiency of a line of automated factory robots all operating in sync through the power of low-latency 5G. The technology opens boundless horizons for smart manufacturing.
"The premise of Industry 4.0 is all about the marriage of physical and digital technologies," Information Age writes. "With Industry 4.0, manufacturers can use connected systems to gain critical insights about their operations."
Sounds like the perfect premise for 5G.
5. Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR)
While 3D tech failed to gain traction over the past decade, AR and VR are fighting to excel in the highly-interconnected world we are fast approaching. AR, and particularly VR, involve massive amounts of information that needs to be generated to create virtual spaces. No longer are you bound by the 1920x1080 dimensions of a Full HD TV or computer screen - entire worlds need to be created to provide a legitimate, 360-degree virtual reality experience. This proves more testing when you consider the streaming functionalities that are being tested for AR and VR devices.
This is where 5G comes in. From streaming 360-degree AR or VR views from a football stadium or live music concert, to virtual tourism and shopping and even VR business meetings, the options are endless, but the networking muscle needed to make this a reality is daunting. This is why developers in the fields of virtual space are pinning their hopes on 5G's exceptional capabilities.
As AR and VR tech such as headsets become cheaper and more mainstream, while being backed by a powerful 5G network, we will be able to experience virtual worlds like never before