5G promises to make 4G speeds look pedestrian by comparison. Where 4G allows you to download full HD movies, 5G will see you downloading 4K HDR just as quickly.
Awesome speed, combined with ultra-low latency, will unlock huge possibilities via the Internet of Things (IoT).
IoT refers to the confluence of cloud-based software, embedded sensors and transmitters, which already allow everyday objects like your smartwatch, the ‘smartfridge’ at home, light bulbs and your electricity meter to send and receive data.
Millions more interconnected devices will go online in the coming years, and they’ll be able to use 5G’s impressive networks to transfer massive amounts of data in real time.
Potential uses of 5G
There are also potential privacy issues to be overcome. Blockchain is built with total transparency in mind, but this doesn’t automatically lend itself to individual privacy. With customer data security at the forefront of any large businesses thinking, telecoms companies must put huge amounts of thought into how their customer data will be secured within blockchain.
At the moment, the biggest users of blockchain are cryptocurrencies, and steps are firmly underway in cryptocurrency world to implement various approaches to privacy. Research is ongoing, but the theory needs to be optimised to be practical to use in the real world. Time will tell which of these approaches are successful and become practical to use.
The high speed and low latency of 5G will enable users of Virtual Reality (VR) to chat and interact in real-time with live-streaming virtual worlds. Immersive films, concerts and gaming are already possible, and 5G will enable immersive education, shared personal moments and social interactions in real-time with a uniform experience and no buffering.
Ultra-low latency will enable the ‘highway in the sky,’ as existing drone applications for video, emergency access, smart delivery and defence will make use of real-time communication in rapidly changing conditions.
The Pokemon Go craze from a while back introduced Augmented Reality (AR) to many of us, but AR is also already being effectively used in business. Ikea and Houzz have developed AR apps to allow you to see their furniture placed in your home, Hyundai have launched an augmented reality users manual and Israel’s national water company have deployed AR smart glasses with an app that allows remote field engineers to access help from experts around the world. 5G will revolutionise immersive AR experiences, making them faster and with zero lag time.
Companies like Google and Uber are already investing in driverless cars – 5G networks will enable these vehicles to be fully autonomous. Instantaneous Vehicle 2 Vehicle (V2V) conversations will have a significant impact on road safety, allowing vehicles to communicate without delay so they can make quick, effective (and potentially life-saving) decisions.