We heard of 5G all the time, but what is 5G all about? 5G is the fifth-generation wireless technology standard for broadband cellular networks. Thanks to its increased bandwidth, it can give higher download speed which may eventually go up to 10Gbps and at lower latency. I guess you can research more about its technical aspects on the Internet and you can read it at your convenience.
How does 5G help in today’s or future world? First, it does have great potential to replace our fixed broadband at home. Imagine having a fast, low latency yet stable connection out from your phone? Nothing beats portability as we use our phones more often than any other devices. Gaming will not suffer from high latency and network instability, videos won’t buffer anymore and no lag during your video conferences are just some examples. Soon, when 5G is getting more common I believe fixed broadband ISPs may be affected as people may just opt for mobile data subscription as it fulfills users’ basic needs. If you have noticed, there is a change in the trend these days whereby some telco providers already “up” their fibre plan game. For instance, Digi gives rebate for mobile postpaid plans if you are on any of its fibre plans. You cannot just stick to fibre only as it may not be sustainable in long term.
Nokia did a survey and collected view and expectation about 5G from 3,000 consumers. Interestingly, from the study, more than half of the participants are willing to pay more if they understand the 5G difference. Unfortunately, they are also likely to switch to another provider if their existing provider does not offer 5G in the next 12 months. This means the users are eager to try out 5G which is good news to all providers worldwide. Most of them are interested in many areas, from fixed wireless access to home monitoring and real-time drone video, to cloud gaming, Augmented Reality (AR)-based translation, precise navigation, and more. You can read more about the finding from here: https://www.nokia.com/networks/research/5g-consumer-market-research/
In a broader context, 5G is more than just an upgrade for faster data networks. It will be the catalyst for the Fourth Industrial Revolution that can change the world in every angle; how we live and relate with each other. One of the biggest changes we will see is in the manufacturing industry, “Smart Factory” will give greater flexibility, autonomous and efficiency. From Artificial Intelligence (AI) robots in production to autonomous vehicles in logistics and finally AR in post service and maintenance without sacrificing on safety needs; 5G’s extreme low latency will continue pushing the limit to a greater height.
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Healthcare service will face transformation as well, 5G can save lives and is the foundation of modern healthcare service. Of everything we have, our health is most priceless and if one thing COVID-19 has taught us is we are becoming more health conscious thus healthcare is one of the services which we prioritize. Doctors can provide high resolution video consultation, surgeries with the aid from hospital robotics, health and fitness history tracking with smart wearables, automated medicine prescriptions are some examples of how 5G is crucial to a modernized healthcare service.
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Connected vehicles is another 5G experience we may enjoy as end users. 5G connectivity enables users on roads connect to each other and provide information to the infrastructure and real-time traffic information. It results safer, faster and more energy efficiency on roads. On top of these, there is in-vehicle infotainment which gives information and entertainment to make journeys more enjoyable. You can watch your favourite TV show on the move with enabled WiFi in the vehicle. Malaysia has one of the highest numbers of road accidents in the world and hopefully this can be reduced by the future 5G enabled vehicles where it gives real-time situational awareness and online maps. This is also possible when automobile makers design automatous features for emergency situations.
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5G was first introduced in 2019 and we may be slightly late to the party but with the recent announcement from Prime Minister we may start getting 5G in Q4 2021 (fingers crossed) gives us hope it is finally coming to us! 5G is the future and though not many devices are 5G enabled yet, but it will get there someday when 5G is a standard for mobile devices. 5G unleashes unlimited possibilities and opportunities, I can’t wait to see how it will change our lives positively!