How 5G Will Change The World

How 5G Will Change The World

June 2, 2020 2 By Syed Karar Ali

How 5G Will Change The World.
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.

The first generation of mobile communications, with brick-sized phones, brought just a handful of users expensive and often unreliable analog voice calling. The second generation introduced digital voice service that was less likely to be dropped, available to many more people, and ultimately cheaper to use. 3G ushered in the mobile internet, mobile computing, and the proliferation of apps. Similarly, 4G (often called LTE) made possible all we have come to expect of mobile broadband: streaming video and audio; instantaneous ride-hailing; the explosion of social media.

CP Gurnani is the CEO and managing director of Tech Mahindra. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own.
“The countdown to the 5G revolution has begun, and the explosion of connected devices, such as mobile phones, televisions, security systems, and speakers, among others, is only going to intensify.”
Americans are excited that 5G means faster mobile internet access, but many don’t see the benefits of other emerging 5G tech, including AR, VR, and drones, according to a PwC survey.

Mature 5G networks will operate at higher frequencies and shorter ranges than 4G, relying on a dense infrastructure of shoebox-sized “towers” every few hundred feet. That allows them to support billions of devices, with almost no latency, at speeds up to 20 times faster than 4G. In addition, 5G antennas also consume less power, making the protocol better for connecting small, battery-powered Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

As an enabling technology, 5G could affect our lives in five key ways.

Smart Cities

According to the National League of Cities, two-thirds of U.S. municipalities have invested in smart city technology. For example, San Diego installed smart lighting systems that automatically dim when no one’s nearby, saving nearly $2 million a year in electricity costs. Pittsburgh is replacing 36,000 streetlights with LEDs that contain sensors to monitor air quality. South Bend, Indiana, installed sensors inside manhole covers that redirect water flow when sewer levels get too high. After San Francisco installed gunshot-detecting microphones in high crime neighborhoods, it reported a 35 percent decrease in incidents where shots were fired.

5g smart cities
Photo Credit: Pakistan Today

In the next 10 years, IoT will generate $4.6 Trillion dollars in value for the public sector and derive the modernization of cities across the globe. Smart cities and municipals will use information and communication technology to enhance Livability, Workability, Security, and Sustainability. Energy costs will decrease, Traffic will flow faster and Safety will increase. Vmware and its partners will be there along the way providing an End-to-end IoT solution to setup.  Similarly, A 2017 Accenture Strategy report predicts that using 5G networks to manage traffic and power could save cities $160 billion.

The World of Work

Perhaps 5G’s broadest impact will be industrial and commercial IoT. Location beacons already transform how goods move from inventory through shipping and delivery. After that, ABI Research predicts that more than 500 million objects will be tracked by 2023. Precision agriculture uses soil sensors and airborne cameras to identify crop disease, determine when to water, and reduce pesticide usage. Smart factories deploy connected robots to automate dangerous and/or repetitive jobs.

5g the world of work
Photo Credit: PhoneWorld

All of these changes will increase exponentially once ultra-fast wireless networks are in place, accommodating an estimated 125 billion IoT devices by 2030.
“IoT will be a significant driver of what’s coming to be known as ‘the fourth industrial revolution,’” says Greg Bollella, VMware vice president in the office of the CTO.

Driverless Cars

According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, nearly 95 percent of traffic accidents are caused by human error. Removing humans from behind the wheel could save up to 1.25 million lives every year.
But for driverless cars to become fully autonomous, they’ll need to communicate with the cars around them to avoid accidents and minimize congestion. In addition, they’ll need to talk to sensors embedded in traffic lights, road signs, and the pavement to navigate more safely.

5g driverless car
Photo Credit: RAC

And they’ll need to get responses instantly—which is where low-latency 5G networks come in.
“Only fast networks, such as 5G, can support millisecond-level latencies,” notes Dr. Kevin Curran, a professor at Ulster University in Northern Ireland, and group leader for the Ambient Intelligence Research Group. “We’re not far from driverless vehicles sharing our roads and one day dominating them, but first we need to invest in the infrastructure.”

Once driverless infrastructure is in place, the streets may become less crowded and the air less polluted. With fully autonomous vehicles, fewer people will own cars, and ride-sharing could become more common. The Boston Consulting Group predicts that this will slash the number of vehicles on city streets by 60 percent and tailpipe emissions by 80 percent.


Trips to the doctor’s office may become as rare as house calls, thanks to virtual visits enabled by low-latency, HD-quality wireless networks. Wearable or implanted medical devices will capture your vitals and transmit them to health care providers, allowing them to detect early warning signs of heart attacks, strokes, or other life-threatening events.
“5G will open the door to important developments in personalized, anywhere, anytime medicine,” says Dr. David Teece, professor at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

5g telemedicine
Photo Credit: Healthcare IT News

High-speed wireless networks will also enable telesurgery, were specialists in one hospital control equipment in another facility hundreds of miles away. That day may be closer than you think. In January, a surgeon in China successfully removed part of a pig’s liver from 30 miles away using a 5G connection.

Virtual Spaces

Thanks to 5G’s high bandwidth and low latency, augmented and virtual reality could finally become a practical reality. In addition, VR telepresence apps will allow colleagues in distant cities to work “side by side,” or sports fans to experience the roar of the Super Bowl crowd from the comfort of their couches. We’ll virtually roam shopping districts in Tokyo during lunch breaks and have the goods shipped to our homes.

All these changes won’t happen overnight. While the major carriers are busy installing limited versions of 5G in cities around the globe, devices capable of accessing 5G networks are just starting to appear, and ultra-high-speed deployments are still several years away.
It took 10 years for 4G to become the dominant cellular technology, and 5G might take even longer. But once it’s fully in place, we’ll wonder how we ever lived without it.

5G-Empowered Industries

5G networks are expected to generate $13.2 trillion in global sales activity by 2035. Therefore, to make this easier to digest, here are the five industries that stand to benefit the most.
Rank Industry Sales ($B) Share of Industry Sales (%)

RankIndustrySales($B)Share of industry sales(%)
2 Information and Communication$1,56910.7%
3Wholesale and Retail Sales$1,1985.1%
4Public Services $9856.3%
5Construction $7314.3%

”Combined with machine learning algorithms, this data can help companies predict when expensive equipment is about to fail, reducing the likelihood of expensive downtime”.
– AT&T Business Editorial

Leading The Way

Developing 5G networks and implementing them into the many industries of the global economy is a massive undertaking. And just seven countries are expected to account for 79% of all 5G-related investment.

By 2035, here’s how these countries are expected to rank.

CountryShare of Value Chain R&D
and Capital Expenditure
5G-enabled Output ($B)5G-enabled Employment
(million people)
United States26.7%$7862.8
United Kingdom3.8%$1140.5
South Korea2.9%$1280.7

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