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“5G is forecast to contribute $2.2 trillion to the global economy by 2034.” GSM Association March 2020
5G, the fifth generation of mobile networks, is expected to be a game changer in creating a digital, connected future society. Without 5G, the full potential of the Internet of Things, smart cities, autonomous driving, robotics, artificial intelligence and remote health care, may be unachievable.
5G will operate at higher frequency bands than 3G or 4G, allowing significantly higher data speeds. Currently, 4G LTE (a top-end 4G network) allows a short HD movie to be downloaded onto a mobile device in about an hour. It’s expected that 5G networks will be able to transfer a full-length, high resolution film in 2 seconds. (Source: International Telecommunication Union)
Dramatically improved latency or ‘response time’. Latency is the delay between a request for content or an action, and that action being delivered to your appliance. The current 4G response time is around 50 milliseconds in delays between instruction and experience. 5G could reduce this delay to below 1 millisecond.
Minimizing latency is crucial in developing the appropriate responsiveness of self-driving cars to their environment in order to avoid collisions.
3G and 4G network utility is constrained by the lack of bandwidth availability at the relevant frequencies. 5G will expand available capacity through the opening up of new and less congested frequency spectrum, and the smarter – more targeted – use of this spectrum.
It is anticipated that, if 5G is properly rolled out, wireless bandwidth should seem infinite. 6G may never be needed.
While there are logistical and financial challenges, the 5G evolution will be mainly software-driven which can be updated more easily than hardware, and at a lower cost.
Policy makers around the world are preparing for 5G rollout over the next few years, conscious that it will be pivotal for future industrial strategy, business competitiveness and social progress.
5G developments – from data providers to infrastructure suppliers – could be profound. Companies positioning themselves for this potential digital revolution provide attractive investment opportunities. While the Millennial generation is the key driver of trends adopted through a better connect world, Covid-19 has amplified the rate of adoption for older generations increasing opportunities in this space.