Here are the five things you need to know about 5G:
1. 5G is needed for full digital inclusion
- Whilst mobile technology has lowered barriers to digital inclusion, rural locations, service quality and data costs still prove a challenge. Upgrading to a 5G network would increase digital inclusion, which is valuable in its own right, but it is also a requirement to support the mobile delivery of government services, including health services. These shifts will benefit consumer and business users directly, but also contribute to productivity and income growth throughout the economy.
2. 5G will help preserve people’s way of life away from urban cities.
- Whether you live in a megacity or a rural community yourself, you know the value in preserving people’s way of life, and allowing them to capture the benefits of the city without forcing them to move there. The increased coverage of 5G will do that like never before. For example, with farming: low-latency 5G networks let fewer farmers grow more crops more efficiently, for better yields and higher profits. Farms will be studded with sensors that collect data to feed back to machinery. Farmers will have full views of all their crops, all the time.
3. 5G can help sustainability
- One of the key elements of a 5G future will be a full realization of the Internet of Things (IoT). Billions of sensors in factories, cities, on farms and in our homes, provide us with the foundational elements to innovate and drive the required de-carbonization. For example, current rice farming processes accounts for up to 40 percent of global irrigated water and generate methane that constitutes around 1.5 percent of global GHG emissions. These GHG emissions can be reduced by implementing a technological solution to alternate wetting and drying processes. The solution includes IoT sensors that monitor when conditions are right and drive pumps to control the level of water. This solution, if implemented globally, could reduce millions of tons of GHG emissions and reduce water usage in rice farming.
4. Services enabled by 5G will increase productivity in unexpected ways.
- For example, the UK National Health Service long-term plan notes that: “Over the next five years, every patient will have the right to online ‘digital’ GP consultations, and redesigned hospital support will be able to avoid up to a third of outpatient appointments - saving patients 30 million trips to hospital, and saving the NHS over £1 billion a year in new expenditure averted.”
5. 5G is key for Industry 4.0
- While the first phase of mobile technology was consumer-focused, we see that the future of 5G will be all about mobile technology affecting industry—commonly known as Industry 4.0. The wireless connectivity and uber computing power of 5G have already shown potential: the use of millisecond latency 5G for real time control in the manufacture of aircraft jet engines is showing an annual savings of approximately EUR 27 million for one single factory, and up to EUR 360 million globally.