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Five ways 5G will change your life

Mon 30 Sep 2019 | Alex Gledhill

We’re about to enter a connective period of revolution, which is set to entirely transform how we live, work and play

5G is set to have a huge impact on the way we live, work and play. Whilst 4G gave a major boost to the mobile internet capabilities of 3G, 5G is set to revolutionise communications in a much more significant way. Much more than just a small step-up in capabilities from 4G, 5G will bring faster speeds, higher data capacity and incredibly low latency.

There are lots of myths about 5G, but the reality is that it will be an absolute game changer. An essential element for the evolution of products and services in the increasingly data-driven world, 5G is will bring huge benefits for both consumers and businesses, generating a massive $10 trillion of revenue by 2035, according to ABI Research, as well as bringing huge benefits for consumers.

Here are five ways that 5G will change your life:

5G will create entirely new services

The advanced abilities offered by 5G networks will drive entirely new business models. Just as 4G helped new services such as Uber to thrive, 5G will enable completely new services and products that we don’t yet know.

The data capabilities and low latency of 5G will unlock the promise of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) which will enable businesses to improve existing operations and potentially identify new revenue streams. Entire industries will be disrupted and businesses will need to adapt quickly or risk being left behind.

5G is the foundation of future smart cities

5G will shape the smart cities of the future, changing the way we live and work. It will provide the backbone for a range of new connected services such as autonomous cars. A connected city infrastructure will be essential to cope with the enormous amounts of data generated and processed by autonomous vehicles. As drivers become passengers, they will have more time to work and relax, driving new products and services. Intel predicts that this ‘Passenger Economy‘ will be worth a massive $7 trillion by 2050.

The arrival of 5G could also aid the development of other forms of smart transport that could change the way we look at the daily commute. What’s more, smart buildings can help to provide a more comfortable working environment, boosting in productivity along with reduced costs for employers. Next-generation 5G networks will also help to support remote working more effectively.

5G will transform live events

From music festivals to football matches, 5G will enhance the fan experience at live events. The low latency offered by 5G enables the use of immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and 360-degree video to boost fan engagement.

On-site 5G networks, like the temporary trial 5G network from EE at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, offer massively expanded capacity. With hundreds of thousands of smartphone users packed into one small site, the network capacity needed is much more like that of a large city, and that’s where 5G can help. At music and sports venues, the boosted data speeds and capacities of 5G will enable fans to get more out of smart stadium apps, such as live streamed replays.

5G will reinvent the shopping experience

The way we shop could change beyond recognition thanks to a combination of 5G and edge computing. Processing data at edge locations, nearer to where the data is produced, means better performance and more reliable connectivity. The ultra-low latency offered by 5G enables retailers to use immersive technologies such as AR, to integrate the physical and digital worlds. This allows shoppers to try out products virtually, without having to set foot in a physical store.

For those customers who do venture into a traditional store, their shopping experience will be similarly enhanced with hyper-personalised digital experiences, designed to target individual shoppers. A wide range of digital innovations will be enabled by the arrival of low latency 5G networks, completely changing the way we shop.

5G will usher in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Next-generation networks will drive the future of Industry 4.0, as manufacturers move towards an increasingly connected infrastructure.

Not only will 5G enable businesses to use emerging technologies such as AI to boost efficiency, but it will also enable them to gain more insights from the data they produce. As well as helping businesses to automate processes, 5G will enable predictive maintenance along with remote operation of equipment. What’s more, this connected approach will also improve the customer experience.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution will see an increasing number of businesses making use of private, on-premise 5G networks. Along with extreme reliability, these offer very low latency and can be tailored to suit each organisation.

Some businesses have already started trialling such networks. For example, Nokia carried out a successful trial at one of its factories, delivering network edge and core cloud capabilities. Powered by Intel technology, the trial offered a glimpse of the full potential of 5G-powered Industry 4.0 in the real world.

We’ve discussed throughout the series the impact that 5G will have across key industries including entertainment, retail and manufacturing. However, most exciting are the benefits and tools that we don’t yet know exist. We’re about to enter a connective period of revolution, which is set to entirely transform how we live, work and play.

Experts featured:

Alex Gledhill

Global Account Director - Vodafone

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