Until recently, 5G has been all anticipation and talk. However, with recent developments, trials and partnerships we can (almost) see 5G on the horizon. Making our lives that little bit (hopefully, quite a lot) speedier and connected. 5G is one of the hottest topics in technology at the moment — a next-generation mobile network that would offer huge gains in both speed and network capacity.
- 2G networks were for voice…
- 3G networks are for voice and data…
- 4G networks bring faster connectivity
- 5G is… different.
Here are five examples of innovation that 5G might just make a reality.
1. A 5G Olympics
Both S. Korea (host of the 2018 Winter Olympics) and Japan (host of the 2020 Summer Olympics) are in nations at the forefront of 5G innovation in Asia, so it makes sense that they will attempt to showcase 5G innovation throughout the Olympics. In fact, SK Telecom, the pioneer of 4G deployment in South Korea and Ericsson have vowed to demo 5G at the 2018 Winter Olympics – less than 4 years away!
Here are just some of the ideas that might be made possible by 5G networks: one-second downloads of massive Olympic video clips; super-high-definition screens for broadcasting events; holograms of Olympic athletes; and mobile 3D images of venues and competitors. There are also hopes of creating “instant translation” glasses that would enable visitors from all over the globe to read anything written in another language within seconds.
2. The Internet of Everything
The Internet of Everything is as much as a hot topic as 5G! And 5G might actually make the concept a reality. Cisco predicts that by 2018, worldwide mobile data traffic will have increased 11x from current levels, with much of that traffic driven by billions of devices talking to other devices wirelessly. To make M2M (machine-to-machine) communication possible you need better, faster, stronger networks – step forward 5G.
Basically, the “Internet of Everything” means that any device can talk to any other device. This can either be relatively basic– such as your refrigerator telling your smartphone that you’re out of milk – or something much more exciting. One major idea is that has been talked about is the “Smart City,” in which devices and sensors are installed on every element of a city’s infrastructure and constantly monitor the city. A sensor on a bridge might detect abnormal traffic patterns, and that information could be used to create alternate transportation routes. I am definitely looking forward to this one!
3. Connected car networks
The Google driverless car was just the beginning. In order to support a large number of driverless vehicles on highways, you need extra capacity. And those 5G networks need to be qualitatively different from 4G networks, capable of handling and distinguishing between a variety of different uses. Some mobile companies are even talking about a connected vehicle cloud – a massive network of connected car data that makes all types of new services available at faster speeds. Volvo has recently unveiled the concept of a “Roam Delivery” network that could deliver groceries or packages to consumers wherever their car happens to be parked. A digital code would enable the delivery agent to access your car’s boot. No missed deliveries ever again!
4. Next gen mobile healthcare devices
We’re now entering an age where real-time health data from mobile devices is becoming the norm rather than the exception. Building on the success of devices from FitBit and Nike, it now seems like every new digital device — including smartphones and smartwatches – will come embedded with some sort of health-tracking service. Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy S5 at Mobile World Congress earlier in the year with a built-in heart rate monitor to complement three upcoming fitness devices. As wearable device use increases, it will lead to new types of health devices that are aware of real-time changes in your health — and capable of relaying that information to other people and health professionals.
5. Smarter ways to power mobile devices
As we are able to use our devices for more things it’s about time we were able to ensure power and usage for longer! Tethercell is a device that transforms battery-powered devices into a Bluetooth-enabled device. You take out one AA battery from your device, and insert the Tethercell, which has room for a AAA battery and a Bluetooth chip. Tetherboard, which makes the Tethercell, calls it “the world’s first app-enabled smart battery.” What that means is that you can control battery-powered devices at will from a distance. One example is getting an alert from the app when one of your devices is low on battery It becomes the control centre for all your gadgets and devices!
So, there’s our 5 reasons why 5G will be such an exciting development! What do you think? What else might it bring?