5G and the world. Need for Speed – Global Implications

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Fifth-generation cellular networks are already used by over half a billion people in the world, and as 5G technology becomes more widely used, many areas of life and business will radically change: medicine, transport, entertainment and even the very appearance of cities. Why would an increase in mobile data rates have such a global impact?

5G differs from previous communication standards primarily in the speed of the Internet connection, which can even be 100 times faster than now. But that doesn’t just mean you can watch videos or download games faster. The changes that follow the introduction of 5G technologies can change lives much more radically.

For example, remote surgery will become a reality, when a patient will be operated on by doctors from another continent using robotics, or people “moving” to those cities where their loved ones are located using VR-glasses. All these technologists may come into the life of residents of large cities not after half a century, but after a few years.

According to Gartner, the revenue of telecom providers from 5G networks in the world in 2021 will grow by 39%, to $ 19.1 billion.

Ericsson predicts that by the end of this year, more than 580 million people will be using fifth-generation networks in the world, and in the USA, where this technology is developing the fastest, by 2026 it will be available to 84% of subscribers.


The GSMA claims there are currently 113 active 5G networks in 48 countries, with the world’s most advanced networks deployed in the United States, China, South Korea, Japan, the Gulf, Australia and parts of Europe. But coverage in most of these states is still limited.

Russia can become one of the leaders in the development of new generation networks. 5G Internet is fully planned to be launched in our country in 2022.

New gaming reality

Probably, of many industries, 5G is most expected in the gaming industry, especially considering the not very humane prices for gaming hardware associated with the lack of microchips on the market and the mining boom. The first global change that fifth generation networks will bring is the ability to play any games on any hardware, even on a smart refrigerator if desired. Such an opportunity will be provided by cloud gaming technology, which implies that the subscriber device only receives a picture from the Internet and records the player’s actions. All complex calculations, for example, those responsible for realistic reflection in games, transmission of light and shadow, complex surfaces, etc. – will be performed remotely on a powerful player server. The “bottleneck” of this technology is now just the speed of the Internet, and 5G allows you to solve this problem.

Another application of fifth generation networks is virtual and augmented reality. Once, during a presentation of 5G technology, two athletes, one of whom was in Australia and the other in France, used VR glasses to play football together. According to their stories, the feeling was as if they were playing the ball live. Of course, augmented reality technology is unthinkable without fast wireless internet. Remember the shots of “Black Mirror”, when the hero, looking at an object or person, immediately receives a pop-up window with information about such an object? Technologically, augmented reality glasses that can do this are already available, such as HoloLens 2 from Microsoft. True, they weigh so much that walking down the street in them does not seem like a good idea, but experts say it will take only a few years to refine the technology. However, all such solutions are simply meaningless without broadband wireless access.

Another area where 5G will be in demand is sports. A person needs at least 20 milliseconds before the brain understands what it sees and decides how to react to it. In 4G, the signal delay is twice as long, and therefore there is a chance to miss and not hit the enemy, even with a very accurate calculation of the strike. Fifth generation communications will solve this problem.

Smarter production

5G technology opens up new business opportunities: for several years augmented reality has been actively used in production, for example, by Boeing and SIBUR. For them, AR is not a toy or an opportunity to display ads, but one of the key technologies that increase production efficiency. Internet of Things technology has also been actively used for more than a decade in many industries, from mining to medicine. All of these technologies are collectively called “Smart Factory” (although many of the enterprises using these technologies have nothing to do with factories). According to the estimates of the Capgemini Research Institute, the cumulative additional monetary effect for the world economy from the use of smart production technologies could amount to USD 1.5–2.2 trillion.

Significant results from the use of 5G are expected in all sectors of the economy. For example, in agriculture, wireless broadband will help manage water resources, monitor crops, fertilize wisely, and more. This will increase yields and make farmers’ jobs easier.

There may also be fewer defective goods. For example, robots that produce computers will receive information from their entire supply chain, quickly process incoming consumer complaints, adjusting their processes where necessary.

Sensors everywhere

The Internet of Things will change the reality around a person. It is planned to use wireless Internet access in almost all home gadgets, including, for example, a doorbell (so that he can transmit an image to the owner if suspicious persons appear near the house), an outlet, a water tap so that you can turn on the water and fill the bathroom, driving up to the house, or turn off the light in your apartment while in the office. But the modernization is not limited to this. The technology of “smart home”, extended to the city as a whole, is called a “smart city”, where the supply of water and electricity, waste disposal, traffic is regulated and the work of various city services is controlled via the Internet.

In Russia, for example, smart city technologies are actively supported at the state level. They are being introduced in all sectors: transport, healthcare, education, etc. m