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INNOVATION

Innovation — 5G Wireless Technology, a Powerful Tool for Development

Monday, January 4, 2021

New 5G technology is rolling out and with it comes opportunities to accelerate innovation. Indeed, 5G is not just a faster network, it’s also a powerful tool many companies can leverage to drive digitalization and plan for success for many years to come. The switch to this new 5G network is just starting but it’s fascinating to consider the many ways it could trigger paradigm shifts.

5G 101

 

5G is the new communication standard, succeeding 4G technology and adding to existing 2G and 3G networks. Each network generation has brought game-changing technology—2G enabled data services for mobile, 3G democratized the mobile Internet with cheaper high-data transmission and 4G accelerated content delivery and live interactions (video, video calls, streaming, data sharing). And now comes 5G, a revolutionary technology standard generation:

 

  • An ever-faster network: 5G will be up to 10 times faster than 4G. Forget about file size limit—high-quality 4K, 6K or 8K videos, VR applications, IoT, cloud computing technology and more, 5G will enable instantaneous connectivity.
  • Lightspeed response time: latency is the time between the moment users interact with their smartphone (for instance, tapping a button while playing) and the moment the action is performed (for instance, a game character jumping or shooting). Latency depends on network speed and 5G will reduce it to virtually zero, which offers new opportunities, especially in autonomous transportation or telemedicine. 
  • Much greater bandwidth: compared to 4G, 5G can support up to 10 times more connected devices per square kilometre. This is a significant step forward in the age of smart cities, digital twins and self-driving vehicles.

The Future of 5G Technology

It will take another three to five years for some of the biggest advancements in digital transformation to materialize, but it’s wise to keep an eye on the future. Indeed, it takes time to develop innovation, especially when using structural innovation strategies to create a new ecosystem. So get ahead of the curve and discover these exciting opportunities. Here are a few examples of the future with 5G technology:

Industry 4.0

Production and logistics sites will become more and more automated and much more flexible since they can be reconfigured instantaneously and in real time. Factories are getting really smart with preventive maintenance and production flow optimization—the fourth industrial revolution is underway.

Smart Cities

Smart, connected buildings, neighborhoods and cities are about to really take off and hit an unprecedented level of connectivity with 5G. Welcome to a better way of collecting and managing data, enjoying smart and interconnected sustainable transportation services, and measuring human activity impact. Data collected by sensors on buildings, traffic lights and water distribution networks can be analyzed and used in real time application systems to plan or manage infrastructure and flows.

 

Agrotechnology

AgriTech requires simultaneous measurement of thousands of sensors for humidity, temperature, etc., and 5G technology is more than welcome in rural areas where Wi-Fi is not available. More and more agricultural drones will be used to monitor crop health and address issues immediately, not to mention that 5G will also enable quick data transmission to speed up automation, from planting to harvesting.

Autonomous Vehicles

We’re not quite there yet with 100% autonomous driving but 5G can unlock this technology by providing useful data on construction work, traffic jams, accidents, etc. With such low latency, cars, trucks or trains will get the data they need to make the right decisions at the right time. A driver could operate several vehicles in several countries at the same time remotely, switching between fully self-driving mode and manual mode depending on the environment (a straight highway in Nevada or a terminal in New York). Remote operators in control centres are already the “human element,” taking command when vehicles encounter conditions they are unsure how to handle.

Telemedecine 

A surgeon could operate remotely with a surgical robot from a modern hospital in a nearby region, or from mobile surgical units in remote or rural areas at home or overseas. 5G can also facilitate remote consultation through wearable devices collecting biometric data from patients with chronic conditions.

Leisure, Tourism and Events

Sports enthusiasts can enjoy customized viewing experiences, watching highlights from additional camera angles and slow-motion footage, getting real-time data on players and ball speeds, etc. Get ready to enjoy real time, interactive 360° entertainment. As for armchair travellers, they can explore virtually recreated ancient ruins or abandoned buildings and get more historical context on landmarks.

 

5G promises disruptive potential for professionals. We will also see fascinating innovations developing over the next few months as 5G smartphones are becoming more and more widely available. Stay tuned to the future!


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