The global deployment of 5G networks began 2019 and will pick up pace in 2020. But public understanding of the new generation of wireless technology hasn’t yet caught up, according to Don Rosenberg, executive vice-president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Qualcomm.
While 3G brought us the mobile internet and 4G gave us mobile broadband – redefining how we interact with our world – 5G will connect everything and everyone, Rosenberg says in an article for the World Economic Forum.
5G’s expanded capacity means that cars, utility grids, appliances, medical devices, industrial machinery, homes, cities, farms and more can all be connected. And with reduced delays and improved reliability, it will enable mission-critical tasks such as remote surgery and autonomous driving.
The technology is already having an impact in many industries and areas of daily life, including:
- Factories and industrial facilities: The 5G-enabled Internet of Things (IoT) is bringing new connectivity to manufacturing facilities – improving product quality, increasing productivity, lowering costs and enhancing safety.
- Agriculture: Farmers are taking advantage of 5G’s expanded and accelerated connectivity to improve veterinary diagnostics, protect crops, reduce fertilizer use, and conserve water with smart irrigation systems.
- On-device artificial intelligence (AI): The combination of AI and 5G can enable a wearable medical device to detect health problems and alert your doctor.
- Sustainability: 5G is helping to make energy and water use more efficient, to monitor air and water quality in real time, and to minimise traffic jams and reduce vehicle emissions.
“What most people forget – or are too young to remember – about 3G and 4G is that we had no idea of what new business models and industries would be created in response: the car-hailing services, streaming of movies and live events instantly to and from your smartphone, and so much more we now take for granted,” Rosenberg points out.
The potential use cases for 5G are infinite – “or at least only as finite as the frontier of human innovation“, he concludes.
Download our Next-generation connectivity report to read more about how the next generation of wired and wireless connectivity – including 5G, full-fibre broadband and satellite internet technology – will impact businesses in five key sectors.