It is not an easy time to be an internationalist, to seek global solutions to global problems amid what feels like one of history’s periodic inclinations toward divisiveness. Yet, ironically, we’re on the verge of a new age of interconnectedness, when the daily lives of people across the planet will be more closely intertwined than ever. Advances in technology will usher in the age of fifth generation, or 5G, telecommunications. And, if past is prologue, this technological evolution will lead to dramatic societal changes.
Think about a world in which not just people but all things are connected: cars to the roads they are on; doctors to the personal medical devices of their patients; augmented reality available to help people shop and learn and explore wherever they are. This requires a massive increase in the level of connectivity.
5G is the technological answer, making possible billions of new connections, and making those connections secure and instantaneous. 5G will impact every industry – autos, healthcare, manufacturing and distribution, emergency services, just to name a few. And 5G is purposely designed so that these industries can take advantage of cellular connectivity in ways that wouldn’t have been possible before, and to scale upwards as use of 5G expands.
But generational change in mobile communications doesn’t just appear overnight. It requires significant effort in research and development and the resources necessary to support that effort.
The benefits and advantages of 5G technology are expected to be available sometime in 2019.
Seems the 5G will change the world even more profoundly than 3G and 4G; that it will be as revolutionary as electricity or the automobile, benefitting entire economies and entire societies.
Developing nations have rivalled or surpassed their industrialised counterparts in benefiting from the deployment of mobile technology, and there’s every reason to think 5G will have an even bigger levelling effect than its predecessors.
Economists estimate the global economic impact of 5G in new goods and services will reach $12 trillion by 2035 as 5G moves mobile technology from connecting people to people and information, towards connecting people to everything.
Many of the benefits probably aren’t yet apparent to us. Wireless network operators initially resisted proposals to give their customers mobile access to the internet, questioning why they would want it.
Now, according to the European Patent Office, the number of patent applications related to “smart connected objects” has surged 54% over the last three years, suggesting new, related and as-yet unknown inventions will arrive even before 5G becomes available.