What we need to make 5G use cases a reality
I recently had the opportunity to attend the 5G showcase event at King’s College London. There was a very diverse audience from the private sector, academia, the media and government bodies who heard from global leaders on the possibilities for this next generation of connectivity, highlighting its capacity to transform societies, economies, businesses, individuals and institutions. This led to very insightful discussions throughout the event which were full of fresh ideas and challenges. One thing that really got me thinking – and I’m sure a lot of others too – was how can we make this technology truly successful, and most importantly, who do we need to work with and how do we need to work together to make our use cases a reality?
Dr Maria Lema Rosas – the principal driver of the 5G System at King’s College London – kicked things off by really showing why 5G is important and what their ambitions are at the university to showcase what it can do. This resonated extremely well with the audience and lead immediately to several interesting questions which really showed me two things: the first being the variety of people who want to be involved in 5G, and secondly, the real interest in developing use cases together.
Professor Mischa Dohler completely reinforced this by speaking about the cross-sector anticipation of 5G, and in his own words: “I have never seen so much excitement around a piece of technology within academia, within industry, within start-ups, and within government. It’s remarkable.”
To further support this, Dr. Fragkiskos Sardis, the technical lead and 5G network architect at KCL, remarked it was great to see the level of interest towards 5G from such a diverse set of people. "I can't wait to see what we can develop together."
During the event, Erik Ekudden, Chief Technology Officer at Ericsson provided the audience a view on the commercial application and the drivers towards the introduction of 5G.
He talked about the revenue potential of up to USD 619 billion globally by 2026 achieved through new and enhanced applications and services, and shared some recent examples of use cases that have been developed across the globe. Erik concluded his presentation by reiterating the need for co-creation and collaboration and underlined how 5G will stretch innovation beyond our imagination.
A panel event brought together a range of speakers from sectors set to be hugely impacted by 5G in the UK, and provided the audience with the chance to ask questions about the possible future for 5G in industry and the arts. It was truly impressive to get the first-hand experience from such a diverse set of panellists, and we were given some very direct responses to challenges around why 5G is needed in such areas as the performing arts and transport. They covered all sorts of areas as well linked to standardisation, the ability to challenge the current status quo with 5G technology, and also the real need to communicate further on the benefits of 5G to drive even stronger collaboration and ecosystems.
In addition to presentations and panel discussions, attendees were able to interact with some of the newest 5G demonstrations, some of which have never been seen before. Six demos were exhibited at the event which covered everything from football, tourism and healthcare, to the performing arts and emergency response. Each was a result of King’s College London working in collaboration with other partners, including Ericsson.
One particular demo which caught a lot of attention was the football demo in which the term “learn to kick a ball like Messi” was used to show how an expert’s football technique could be mimicked by a robot using recognition technology and then translated to others. My goal scoring abilities were pretty poor so this would definitely help me!
Ericsson Garage was also on hand to give attendees an insight into what we’ve achieved so far in Ericsson Garages around the world. We demonstrated “MusiConnect”, which aims to enable musicians to play simultaneously together in different geographical locations thanks to the low latency and high bandwidths provided by 5G. A highly entertaining and popular showcase has also been shared recently called “Connected Rock”, which was developed by Ericsson in Koreas. The video has really caught the imagination of a lot of people.
The demos were all directly linked to the 5G system that was recently installed by Ericsson at the university in the heart of London. The principle driver behind the demonstrations was to illustrate that 5G can provide a universal platform to support and adapt to applications or services that will benefit both industry and society. As a result, all aspects of the system were considered including network slicing, edge computing, high bandwidth, and also low latency.
All in all, it was tremendous event where we really showcased that to make 5G use cases a reality, collaboration between a wide array of partners across industry is crucial to success.
Want to find out more about what Ericsson is doing to make 5G use cases a reality? Explore how 5G will revolutionize 5 key industries including: TV and media; manufacturing; healthcare; telecommunications; and transportation and infrastructure.