Bringing the future one step closer to reality
Three years ago, we ran our first live 5G demo in Kista for customers NTT Docomo and SK Telecom. Back then, we cheered when we reached a staggering 5.8Gbps with our bulky prototypes. For me it was an eye-opener for the potential of 5G speeds – and even though we can currently only dream of gigabit speeds we were demoing 757Mbps with Telia just this week.
But don’t get too excited about the high speeds yet. Even though we’ve had demos showing over 25Gbps, does that mean you will have that in your phone in the near future? Probably not. Test environments are a lot different than real world. And what would you use that for? Downloading movies in the blink of an eye – but you might as well stream them? And will you really use Ultra HD on your small phone screen anyway? The inventions needing a 25Gbps wireless connection are yet to emerge – but we can see the potential in futuristic technology like VR and AI, self-driving cars etc – I mean who’s not excited about ROBOTS? If you need a reminder about the 5G use cases, check out this page: https://www.ericsson.com/5g/use-cases
In the past year we’ve gone out in the field to trial 5G, both here in Kista (north of Stockholm) and in the US, as well as with customers in Japan and South Korea. In December we completed the world’s first end-to-end 5G trial system live demonstration together with SK Telecom and just the other day we were showing 5G in Indonesia for the 110 anniversary of Ericsson business there. These tests enable operators, ecosystem partners, academia and analysts to test 5G capabilities live – verifying the possibilities in a world of high-speed wireless connection. We will need forward-thinking inventors in every country to capture all the ways 5G connections can be used.
The future comes towards us at high speed. Last year at MWC we had our 5G radio prototypes live in our booth. This year we were using live 5G networks for our demos. It’s still a few years until we can see 5G networks pop up in our own phone displays – but the visions and plans of what 5G can be used for are happening right now. Perhaps they will include self-driving cars, virtual reality gaming and ROBOTS! – but they will probably not be what I think, or even what you think.