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5G Wireless Technology just around the corner

Since 5G, the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications, will be available soon, we should think about its impact on our daily lives. Without getting into technical jargon, 5G will bring greater transmission speeds while moving more data, with lower latency or more responsiveness, and the capability to connect more devices simultaneously.

Overall, it will bring the IoT, the Internet of Things, where just about everything is connected, closer to reality. Looking at 5G’s impact on some industries we can expect the following:

1. Transportation will benefit as autonomous vehicles start connecting at high speed with external sources of data such as roads, traffic lights, and other sensors. This should enhance safety on the road.

2. Greater adoption of high-speed wireless connectivity in factories will enable 5G manufacturing, which means greater use of robotics for most production processes resulting in improvements in quality and productivity.

3. Augmented reality and mixed-reality products, where computer-generated graphics are overlaid over real world images, will enhance the user experience through higher speed connectivity and low latency connections. Lower training costs for businesses can also be expected.

4. Improved health care services through faster access to our doctors, increased reliance on telemedicine for faster diagnostics, and higher real-time monitoring of patients.

5. Greater surveillance capability by governments through face recognition technologies, real-time geopositioning for individuals, and access to “loyalty” profiles of citizens, as in China, become mainstream.

Major service providers are already positioning for supremacy in delivering 5G connectivity. By 2020, we should have a variety of cell phone choices. Samsung has announced the release of 5G phones for AT&T and Verizon, Verizon could also release a Moto Z3 phone, and Sprint has announced an Android phone from LG.

In short, get ready for a major change in the way we connect and communicate.

Dr. Walter Kruz

Chairman, MIS Department

Lincoln University