5G: The Next Technological Revolution

7 min read

By Henry  Shackleton

Consultant

We live in a world that’s powered by technology and reliant on the internet. For many industries, new innovations – such as autonomous vehicles, remote-controlled wireless machinery and smart cities – offer exciting possibilities for the near future, but all this technology needs faster and more reliable internet connections. Introducing 5G: potentially the biggest leap in technology since the birth of the internet.

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of mobile networks, but it is much more than an upgraded version of 4G. Utilising brand-new radio technology, 5G enables faster data transfer, real-time updates and the reliability needed for the latest innovations to work effectively. Personally, I see this as one of the most exciting technological developments in recent history. The 5G network will enable the world to develop at its full potential and is just the beginning of IOT and Smart revolution. By connecting smart cities, buildings, factories and devices together, 5G provides the infrastructure for a more connected future world and in conjunction with IoT and Edge Computing, provides a key building block for Industry 4.0.

5G offers an opportunity to transform industries

This new technology represents an exciting opportunity for businesses. According to a recent study by Oracle, 97% of companies are aware of the commercial opportunities 5G can bring their businesses, with 95% strategically planning how this technology can help drive their businesses forward. Businesses also seem aware of the huge benefits of 5G with 86% of them believing 5G will increase employee productivity, whilst 84% believe it will reduce costs.

By implementing the technology that 5G makes possible, companies can optimise supply chains, utilise autonomous equipment and vehicles, identify optimisation potential though vast data collection opportunities, and use robotic technology to reduce costs and improve efficiency. According to a study by Qualcomm Incorporated, industries from retail and education to transportation and entertainment could produce up to $12.3 trillion worth of goods and services enabled by 5G by 2035.

In practical terms, the low latency benefits 5G delivers will enable smart transport that can communicate in real time with traffic lights and sensors. For the farming industry, sensors operating on 5G networks could communicate moisture and fertilisation needs. Wireless robotic remote surgery has the potential to free up resources in the health care industry and help to reach those in rural and remote areas. In manufacturing, 5G gives the potential of a new era of automation, with more efficient and cost-saving processes as well as the opportunity to operate machinery from hundreds of miles away.

Understandably the launch of 5G will also have a huge impact on businesses operating within the technology market. With the immense amount of data and communication that will be transferred across the 5G networks, I believe that one of the largest growth areas in the technology sector will be the data centre and edge space, making this an exciting time to be operating within this market.

5G will also lead to improved connectivity between people, which will benefit all industries. The speed and reliability of 5G will allow offices and business units across the world to communicate more effectively and work collaboratively.

When can we expect this technology to be widely available?

5G networks are expected to launch globally in 2020. In the UK, EE has recently launched 5G, but it is limited to certain spots in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh. Other mobile networks are looking to launch the technology over the next few months, but it is still expected that it won’t be widely available across Europe until 2020.

However, there could be a potential delay for some countries due to political and security concerns. For example, in many countries – including the US, UK and Australia – there has recently been security concerns with Huawei: a major provider of 5G telecoms equipment. In the UK, EE and Vodaphone both currently use some of Huawei’s technology and have acknowledged that having to replace it would delay their ability to roll out 5G nationally. The US has currently banned the company from receiving components from US exporters without a license, something which has the potential to disrupt Huawei’s supply chain and cause a delay to the global 5G rollout. However, for any country a delay is likely to result in economic losses for the UK economy, this cost could be as much as £6.8 million – a big motivator for all parties to work towards a resolution or an alternative solution.

The benefits of 5G and its potential to lead the way for IoT and the Smart revolution make it one of the most exciting technological developments of recent times. As always with new technologies, there is likely to be a change in the skills needed by companies and how teams are structured. If you are operating within the tech and telco infrastructure space and would like to discuss the future of 5G and its impact on your talent strategy, please contact me: henry.shackleton@csgtalent.com.

 

References

Zinnov, 5G Technology: The Future of Connectivity

Techradar, UK 5G Could be Delayed Over Security Worries

Techradar, 5G: Everything You Need to Know

CNN, US Move Against Huawei Could Slow the Global Rollout of 5G

Ericsson, 5G Use Cases                                       

Oracle, Oracle Survey Find Enterprises Ready for Benefits of 5G

Qualcomm, Landmark Study on Impact of 5G Mobile Technology Released

BBC News, 5G: Finally, it's Here in the UK - so What is it?