5G is (almost) here. Click to keep reading…

5G is (almost) here. Click to keep reading…

5G is here—sort of. Verizon and AT&T both launched preliminary 5G services in late 2018, but neither is broadly available or meaningful at this time. The 5G adoption rate for phones is only expected to hit .4% in 2019. So the real race to 5G, the new cellular system that will potentially transform our world, starts now.

What is 5G? On a basic level, 5G is the fifth generation of cellular networking. It’s what comes after our current 4G / LTE networks, similar to the way that LTE was a monumental shift forward from 3G. Think back on how the use and interaction with our phones shifted when 3G data was first introduced, or how things evolved again when high-speed LTE launched. That’s the kind of change we’re looking at with 5G. Research shows that we can expect increases in speeds ranging from 10% to 2000%, depending on who you ask. Most in the industry agree that the technology will connect billions of devices and sensors, and will have a huge impact on major industries; think smart homes, fully automated vehicles, artificial intelligence, drones, robotics, 3D printing, and technology-enhanced health care services, including automated surgery.

The fifth generation of mobile connectivity should set the commercial standard for fast connectivity for the next decade. Analysts say there are no game-changing tools coming out of 5G, like text or mobile apps in earlier iterations. Instead, users can expect higher speeds for  upload/download, experience higher quality videos, and leverage new breakthroughs in existing augmented reality technologies. Although there are no obvious advantages other than speed, those who don’t pay attention to the capabilities and enablements that 5G brings will fail to plan how their systems can be upgraded and turbocharged to leverage the power of the new-age network.

According to Ericsson’s report on the 5G manufacturing potential, this technology will be used in factory floor production for access to real-time analysis, steering a robot’s movement from a remote location, and critical control of production line robotics that can be controlled, monitored, and configured remotely (including tethered or untethered). Wow!

Also, Techwire states 5G can be used to help workers quickly learn how the repair and maintenance of equipment in the factory should be carried out. Connected cameras and sensing devices can provide feedback to control centers enabling skilled staff to control and steer manufacturing remotely, resulting in increased safety, productivity and flexibility.

We will all be affected by the increase in functionality and productivity that 5G will bring.  Whether we feel the effects of 5G this year or next, here’s hoping that every sci-fi movie with AI or Skynet got it wrong.–Commentary provide by Jennings Harley, Lupton Associates Business Development. 

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