In the last 10 years the world has moved from 3G to 4G to 4GLTE. These transitions have been associated with increases in connectivity and therefore how data is generated, transferred and consumed. In 2019, the world transferred about 40 exabytes of data; that’s 40 billion gigabytes!
By 2025, this number predicted to rise to 160 exabytes according to Ericsson. Popular media sites like YouTube launched in the days of 3G where videos were of low resolution and buffered consistently. With 4G and 4G LTE, data transmission speeds increased 10-fold with video now consumed in 4K resolution and streaming in real time with minimal buffering.
5G is the new mobile data transmission standard on the horizon for widespread rollout around the world. It will likely have a major impact on how we do business in the next five years, due to three major features that differ from the previous generations: low latency, network slicing and edge computing.
Low Latency Services
The time taken for two points in a connection to communicate is referred to as latency. A low latency connection requires a short time for back and forth communication while a high latency connection requires a relatively longer time. The perception of network speed and performance depends on high bandwidth and low latency.
5G uses higher frequency radio waves than its predecessors, allowing a higher mobile bandwidth of over 500Mbps and much lower stable latency of 1 millisecond compared to 50Mbps and 50 milliseconds respectively on current 4G connections according to .
Network slicing allows multiple virtual networks to be created on top of a common shared physical infrastructure. This means that many more devices; up to 1 million per square kilometer, will be able to connect to a network. The virtual networks are then customized to meet the specific needs of applications, services, devices, customers or operators.
Some devices require low latency and without needing high bandwidth such as autonomous vehicles while others require high bandwidth but can tolerate increased latency for example video streaming. Both would be able to be delivered over the same common physical network on virtual network slices to optimize use of the physical network.
Distributing computing power from cloud/enterprise servers to reduce bottlenecks as IoT device numbers explode over the next few years. Issues to address are privacy and reliability, as well as speed and efficiency where 5G would contribute to network infrastructure connectivity.
How 5G Will Impact the World
The real-world applications of these features and other aspects of the new standard allow for many scenarios where the way we interact with the internet is going to be enhanced or completely changed.
Other countries, particularly China, have already started implementing 5G, with the state-owned mobile operators China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom rolling out the superfast service being to consumers in 50 Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, starting in late 2019.
Below are examples of how this technology will be applied in various industries.
Media and Entertainment
Major sporting and entertainment events are always plagued by poor mobile data speeds due the irregular spike in device connection numbers. Network slicing and edge computing on 5G networks is set to alleviate this with increased network density of up to 1 million devices per square kilometer serving high resolution (4K) real time video content.
Counterpoint reported on the first demonstration of these capabilities by Intel, Samsung, Korea Telecom (KT) and other manufacturers at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea.
Public Safety and Security
Increased network throughput with 5G will how even more high definition CCTV cameras to be installed across urban areas. Countries like China that have made a big emphasis on surveillance are poised to take advantage of this new capability as the country aims to install over 400 million cameras by 2021 according to the BBC.
Doctors have been using robotic arms in the surgery room to enhance visibility and accuracy of procedures for years now. Although robotic surgery is already established, conducting an operation from one hospital; possibly in another country, is not. Low latency connections over 5G will increase the capability of existing robotic surgery technologies to be conducted remotely.
The impact of 5G enabled high throughput, low latency connections will allow telesurgery to be more commonplace. China Daily reported a number of successful surgeries already conducted over a 81 mile distance between Beijing and Tianjin in 2019.
Low latency and ultrafast connectivity will effectively revolutionize factory floors, from remote real-time monitoring of robots and processes to the use of 5G-powered simulations in augmented reality to better train the workforce and increase productivity.
An early example of the benefits of smarter factories is the mobile phone plant operated by Changying Precision Technology Company in Dongguan City in China. Opened a few years ago, the factory replaced 90% of its human workforce with 60 robot arms working round the clock. The automation led to a 250% increase in productivity and an 80% drop in defects (Futurism).
Are you ready for the new 5G world?
GSMA predicts that by the end of 2020, there will be somewhere around 100 million 5G subscribers, and that by 2025, there will be no less than 2.6 billion subscriptions to 5G.
Let the experts at ASB Resources help your company make the most of this next generation of mobile internet connectivity. Schedule a call with one of our experts today!