As digital technology becomes ever more pervasive, touching every part of our lives, we need mobile infrastructure that can cope with demands from the very smallest to the most powerful of devices. That’s what 5G will be capable of doing. The specific technology to do that has been discussed in previous articles now, in this article, we’ll look at some specific applications and the transformations 5G will bring about

Media and Entertainment

One of the early uses of 5G will undoubtedly be streaming video, whether that is live events, movies or VR and AR content. These applications will take advantage of 5G’s high data throughput and low latency to deliver high quality images or immersive experiences. VR is particularly demanding needing both. Tests have shown that a truly immersive experience requires 12K video and millisecond latency because of the screen’s proximity to the eyes and so there is no lag in movement tracking. 5G’s headline performance will also deliver instant replays and different viewing angles to the crowds that attend sports and event stadiums and then again for collaborative gaming

Automotive

Much has been made of 5G support for controlling autonomous vehicles but there are other benefits too. Cooperative traffic management for example where routing and infrastructure, like traffic lights, can be driven by actual traffic flows. Such insight can help reduce congestion and pollution and make journey times more predictable. 5G’s ability to talk to small, low power devices will be key here. Of course, as well, when humans are not required for driving they’ll want to be doing something, like watching movies or playing games so again media streaming will play a part here

Energy Management

We’re already familiar with SMART building management and metering and 5G will make low power, low cost devices available to address that but there’s more it can do. As we move more and more to renewable energy the grid that consists of a few big power stations today will become fragmented and remote. There will be many power sources such as Solar and Wind Turbines all over the country and even at sea and their capacity to provide power will vary with for example the weather. So there is a need for a SMART grid where power is managed and regulated on a much more granular basis than it is now. 5G can provide the coverage, capabilities and flexibility needed to support and control this grid, which is remote, fragmented and made up of simple and complex elements

Healthcare

In healthcare 5G can help with simple things like tracking and management of assets around a hospital but, it has an even bigger part to play as demand for personalised care, telemedicine and precision medicine take hold. These applications demand mobile, always-on connectivity to monitor a patient’s vital signs and health condition and to link up with clinicians and drug providers. Indeed the impact on the pharmaceutical industry will be profound as these new technologies take hold and drugs are provided direct to home. 5G can provide the flexible mobile connectivity and the infrastructure backbone to make this work

This is just a sample of the way 5G technology will touch all our lives in the future and will change our world like never before. Access to mobile, high speed, always-on connectivity is a game changer for industries and businesses around the globe so, the UK must lead in that if we are to be competitive on the global stage