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Turning Game of Thrones into Game of Drones with 5G

Sometimes, the easiest way to view the future is by throwing it back…and what better way to see what the future could be by throwing it all the way back to the medieval-based world of “Game of Thrones?”

Climate Action Campaign Director

Game of Drones with 5G

Climate Action Campaign Director

Climate Action Campaign Director


When we talk about tech, we're almost always looking ahead into the future. But what happens when we look back into the past?

The other day I was a bit taken aback by one of those 'This time, 10 years ago' reminders from know, the ones where they show you what you posted 10 years ago to the day.

Apparently, 10 years ago I posted, asking if people had any stories where mobile telephony was making their lives better.

And apparently, 10 years ago, I was met by a good amount of silence.

It's easy to forget that in 2009, we were still at the advent of what people then called 'Web 2.0.' Social media sites were still relatively niched. Bloggers and vloggers were not prevalent. The first mobile apps had only been around for about a year.

The majority of the responses I received were about phone calls. 'It's great that I can call my kids when they're out and see what's up.' 'It's easier to say I'm running late for a meeting.' (Side note: I actually remember being stuck on a subway in New York running very late for work, and trying to judge if it was worth it to hop out and line up for the payphone to tell them I would be late, or keep waiting on the subway and hope it would eventually move.)

When I asked the question 10 years ago, I was looking for good stories to share. Nowadays, you can just turn to the person next to you to hear how mobile connectivity has changed their life for the better—from crowdsourcing, to meeting partners to covering important world events live.

One idea I had back then was to throw it back—and show how mobile connectivity could have changed history. If mobile phones were around in ancient Greece, for example: no marathons. The legend goes that Pheidippides, a Greek courier, ran the original marathon when he ran from the city of Marathon to Athens to deliver news of a military victory—and he promptly dropped dead from exhaustion after doing so. If he had a mobile phone—trip saved, just give Athens a ring.

Of course, this idea came about 10 years ago when my creativity was limited to how much we thought we could do with mobile networks. Technology has come a LONG way since then—and what more fun way to illustrate that than to look at our current technology and see how it could change the reality of something very low tech: the world of Westeros.


Connecting Westeros with 5G

With Game of Thrones' final season upon us a multitude of companies are taking to social media with their parodies, hot takes and sponsored content. So, what does Ericsson have to say? Well, with such an imaginative narrative that has captivated millions we'd like to ask you to use your imagination and love of the show to connect with something that is very real to us here at Ericsson: our 5G platform.

Imagine that the Great War is over and all of Westeros has been united under one throne. Now imagine that world in 2020. Faster and more reliable communication is in demand and Westeros needs to be outfitted to handle the capacity of a peaceful Westeros with modern day technology.

No longer are ravens needed to deliver messages. With messages transmitted at 300 megabytes per second, the Starks who are spread out around Westeros can keep in touch in real time, even over live streaming video.

What about the Night's Watch? Well, by outfitting the wall with live streaming cameras, complete with motion detection, they can guard Westeros by monitoring the movement of White Walkers from as close as Castle Black to as far away, and further than, Kings Landing. The low-latency of 5G would allow immediate response to threats and give the people of Westeros ample time to prepare.

Some of this preparation would be in the form of training for dangerous circumstances, and Aria Stark has used her sword wielding skills to develop a Mixed Reality training software with haptic suit technology that allows thousands of apprentices all over Westeros to experience and feel the real action of a sword fight. Her apprentices do not have to go through the horrors she experienced to become the magical soldier she has become, it's all done in the safety of a virtual world where the low-latency of 5G makes VR the closest thing to our reality.

Game of Phones to Game of Drones

Westeros would not get there overnight, but neither did we. The infrastructure built for our telephone communications was a huge undertaking. Fortunately, we have a full 5G platform that allows us to now switch on the power of 5G. With Ericsson's 18 and counting partnerships to bring 5G to the global market, we understand the infrastructure of 5G. So outfitting Westeros was a cinch.

Connected castle


Fronthaul and Backhaul devices would be placed on the high peaks and towers of the cities. Ericsson Radio Dots would be deployed to Castles. Each castle could slice their 5G network so the Lannisters might have full access to the network slice that is portioned off for their important communications, while the cities healers have their own network to perform a hand replacement surgery using haptic technology over the 5G network to replace Jamie's metal hand while he is off far away on another adventure.

With the level of security that 5G offers, Lord Varys and his army of orphan spies that he calls his "Little Birds" would have a hard time getting information that could be used to fuel another great war.

The only deterrent is our creativity

Just like my creative brainstorm 10 years ago, I'm sure in 10 years' time, these ideas will be borderline quaint. We'll be looking at a much more intelligent society, driven by innovations like edge computing, autonomous networks and cyber-physical systems. Stay tuned!

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