2 Reasons 5G Is Going to Change the World


2 Reasons 5G Is Going to Change the World

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Hello, Reader.

What is 5G, other than a technology buzzword?

Let’s begin briefly with what it isn’t. 5G isn’t just the “phone technology” that follows 4G – kind of like the 2024 model Prius follows a 2023 model.

So many people don’t understand the capabilities of this technology that the Google frequently asked questions dropdown sounds like questions you’d hear in “Tech 101.”

Commonly asked questions about 5G

5G is a quantum leap in communications technology. It replaces 4G like an automobile replaces a horse-drawn buggy, or like a personal computer replaces a slide rule.

Compared to 4G, 5G operates up to 100 times faster and accommodates a 10X jump in the number of connections. It also reduces something called “latency” by a factor of 10.

Latency is the time it takes for a packet of data to travel back and forth over a network from one cellphone or computer to another.

In terms of internet service, latency usually means the time required for a signal to travel to the internet service provider’s (ISP) server and back. Latency is typically measured in milliseconds. The lower the latency (the fewer the milliseconds), the better the network performance.

5G’s massive technological superiority over 4G means that dozens of new technologies may now emerge and thrive. A short list of obvious beneficiaries from the global 5G rollout would include…

  • Mobile communications…
  • Automotive applications…
  • Internet of Things (i.e., smart devices)…
  • And cloud computing.

Today, we’ll dive into the first two items on this list. Then, on Tuesday, we’ll wrap up with the latter two…

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Mobile Communications: 100 Times Faster

Although 5G can deliver blazing-fast bandwidth, that’s only the beginning of its impact on mobile communications.

The bigger picture is that the enhanced connectivity, bandwidth, and responsiveness 5G provides will enable smartphones to function like high-powered, on-the-go PCs that can deliver ultra-high-definition video, virtual reality, and other advanced applications.

Using today’s 4G networks, it would take about three and a half hours to download all eight seasons of Game of Thrones. A 5G network could do the job in about two minutes.

But 5G isn’t only about how fast you can transport Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons to your TV screen; it is also about enabling numerous next-generation industrial and medical technologies.

With 5G, for example, some manufacturing companies could implement “cobotic” processes in which humans and robots interact to optimize workflow.

As Wired magazine relates…

Imagine a world where [5G technologies] reshape things that were once thought unimaginable, in areas as diverse as medicine, the factory floor, or a bustling city highway. 

Think of hospitals and emergency services that routinely rely on powerful and blazing fast networks that allow nimble-fingered robots to conduct delicate surgeries from afar, or medical researchers to quickly analyze trillions of gigabytes of data as they unravel the riddle of dangerous diseases. Or a smart factory floor where thousands of sensors stream data to the cloud, boosting manufacturing efficiency while machines perform preventive self-maintenance that keeps workers safe. Or dozens of autonomous vehicles that platoon on the highway, communicating directly in real-time. 

Some of these science-fiction fantasies have become reality already, thanks to 5G.

For example, China’s Fujian Medical University conducted the first-ever remote surgery using a 5G connection in 2019.

A doctor who was about 50 kilometers away from the hospital performed the 60-minute surgery by viewing a high-quality live video stream from the 5G network, and then controlled a robot over the network to perform the procedure itself.

That is no small feat – and it’s only one of millions of 5G-enabled possibilities.

Automotive Applications: Connected and Autonomous Cars

Next-generation transportation technology will also get a big boost from 5G.

Because of the low latency that 5G cellular systems can deliver, autonomous vehicle technology can finally begin to realize its vast potential.

Using C-V2X (vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, collectively called C-V2X communication), vehicles will be able to “communicate” with each other, as well as with city infrastructure or any other connected entity, including pedestrians.

Because C-V2X is based on wireless technologies, it can create a kind of automotive “vision” that can “see” around corners, look through walls, and anticipate pedestrian behavior. Obviously, capabilities like these could greatly reduce both traffic congestion and traffic accidents.

Here’s an expanded vision of the impact on transportation 5G will possess from Viavi Solutions Inc. (VIAV)

The implementation of 5G into urban areas will improve their public transport operations, such as the creation of a dynamic transport planning with the ability to reduce traffic congestion, space reallocation for cyclists and pedestrians, generating more revenue by increasing public transport ridership, and developing business models like the MaaS, not to mention, reducing the tariffs and increasing the affordability for low-income users…

With the urban transport system enhanced, its overall efficiency would also go through the roof. The 5G technology has the ability to provide real time monitoring of public transport vehicles and user demand management, where the matching process between supply and demand will become more effective. This will create a near real-time Origin-Destination (OD) matrix to make transport operators more efficient. They will be able to avoid operations of either empty or overloaded vehicles, resulting in the enhancement of the quality of service for users…

Looking to the Future

5G isn’t slowing anytime soon; in fact, it is careening down a path of inevitability.

And in truth, we’ve seen similar narratives before.

Back in the early 2000s, it was inconceivable to imagine a world where your daughter didn’t have to wait to use the internet because you were speaking to your father on the landline. Now, she carries a supercomputer in her hip pocket.

Back in the 1980s, when Stephen King released his horror novel, Christine, which centered on a possessed ‘58 Plymouth Fury, it was impossible to picture a vehicle not powered by fossil fuels. Now, there are 47,000 electric-car charging stations across the U.S., according to The Pew Charitable Trusts, and the White House announced in June a goal of building a national network of 500,000 by 2030.

It’s all part of a massive technological transformation… and one 5G company is one the central players.

Stay tuned for Tuesday’s article, where I’ll detail more on the major beneficiaries of 5G. And you might be surprised that one of them is, in fact, the biggest megatrend we’ve seen in years: artificial intelligence


Eric Fry's signatureEric Fry

Editor, Smart Money

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Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/smartmoney/2023/09/5g-is-going-to-change-the-world/.

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