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Who will use 5G and how will it be used?

Jul 28, 2015

5g technologySurfing on the Internet a few weeks ago, I came across what I considered to be a very interesting article. An English University is setting up an innovation center for 5G technology. They have even constructed a dedicated building for 5G investigation. 

So is 5G still at a totally academic stage? I would say no, because if we carry on surfing the web, it is clear that there is a lot more information from the business world; marketing consultants, operators and manufacturers among others with information on 5G. Indeed, even this English University’s project is strongly linked to the to the business world.

What will 5G offer end users when its launch comes, which expected to be in less than 5 years’ time, in 2020? Initially many experts believe that there are 3 basic factors which are the main benefits given by 5G; large throughput and capacity, large amount of devices that require low cost and those who need latency and reliability.

It is quite clear that the needs from individual end users in general, both from a business and consumer perspective are constantly asking for increases in data throughput on mobile applications and the forecast is that this trend will keep growing. Hence the larger throughput and capacity factor is quite event, even at a basic general market level.

Are there specific market segments identified as key users of 5G technology?

Although not all specific market segments, nor all specific scenarios that will be key users of 5G have been identified to date, certain market segments do spring to mind as key users of 5G in the future.

Utility companies should be obvious potential users of 5G. These companies have already commenced their move towards Smart Grid scenarios, but when 5G is available they will be able to extend the concept of Smart Grids. Being able to have a much higher control of user demand, both consumer and industrial demand, utility companies will use this information to optimize their production and distribution of energy. Hence, making sure that the exact amount of energy is produced at the right time, according to user demand. Moreover, utility companies will be able to produce with sufficient economies of scale.

Indeed, we will not only hear of Smart Grids when 5G is available, but we will also hear of Smart Homes, Smart Offices and Smart Factories. In homes, a large amount of consumer devices will have embedded 5G cards, so that manufacture post-sales services will be able to have a higher control of the devices that they sell and install. Therefore improving user satisfaction. The bulk of these Smart Home devices will fall into the category of low data rate / low cost, but for sure some will need a high data throughput, if what is required is a video connection with the consumer, for example.

In exactly the same way, “Smart” industrial devices will have embedded 5G cards. Some needing low data rates and others requiring high data throughput. For many industrial scenarios, reliability and latency will also be essential.

Clearly not all market segments that will use 5G will fall into the “Smart” category. There will be many more. Health care is forecasted to become an important user of 5G. As an example, for Telemedicine 5G be important, whether to cut costs, avoid patients travelling to the hospital or in general increasing efficiency. This market segment will not only need reliability and latency, as it is dealing with human health, but also throughout and capacity may be required if HD video is need to examine a patient.

Education. Students will require more mobile connectivity, to permit less dependency on paper books, increase access to the Internet for information and also connectivity with teachers or lectures. In this market segment throughput and capacity, as well as reliability and latency will be of importance.

Regardless of the market segment, many will benefit from the fact that 5G is wireless. So all the connectivity that is being mentioned will not require wire to be laid from the devices to a router or point of connectivity, and this will facilitate the possibility of using 5G technology, because as we already know from experiences in other wireless technology to date (mainly WLAN and 3G/4G), installing devices that do not require wire for their connectivity have two huge advantages. Firstly, it is much cleaner / autonomous and secondly it is considerably more economical to install.

Teldat will obviously develop devices for the 5G kick off in 2020, in the same way that we have always been at the forefront of all the previous cellular technologies 2G/3G/4G/LTE. Many of the advantages that are being talked around 5G today, are issues that Teldat has already offered the markets with previous and current cellular technologies. For example with increased connectivity to vertical markets H1-Automotive+ / H2-Automotive, lower installation costs for clients with wireless installation Teldat-4Ge, etc.

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