We’re hearing more and more these days about the advent of the new 5G cellular technology. While previous iterations of the first, second, third and even mostly fourth gen cell tech have been primarily about how we use our phones or stream movies, 5G is going to be a game changer. And since we here at the blog are all about business, technology, software and the future… we thought we’d share a few thoughts published by the editors of The Wall Street Journal in the May 2018 booklet entitled “The Future of Everything.”
As the editors note, “5G has the potential to dramatically reshape our lives.” Following then are some of the impacts they see coming to all of us, thanks to the impending 5G network upgrades that will be coming to a town near you – and sooner than you think!
- 5G gives everything from cars and homes to drones and medical equipment instant access to the internet. This will extend wireless technology beyond our phones and “radically enhance machine-to-machine connections.” 5G will be available in dozens of U.S. cities by 2018, and is slated to roll out nationwide by 2020.
- Want to watch a movie? Today it takes about four minutes to download a move on a 4G network. With 5G, you’ll have it on your tablet, phone or smart TV in six seconds. And those 5G speeds will also allow theme-park visitors with connected headsets to stream hi-def virtual reality experiences while on a speeding roller coaster. You go first.
- 5G makes self-driving cars a practical reality, with safety. 5G-equipped cars will see, know and understand their surroundings instantly, alerting their vehicles to, say, accidents ahead and perhaps even averting those dreaded pile-ups. An ambulance can signal those cars to pull over long before a human driver could react to its siren, say the editors.
- The combination of cloud with real-time video and analytics will allow cities to better manage everything from power grids to traffic patterns. Sensors in water systems could detect and fix leaks before a break occurs, and smart streetlights could direct cars to parking spaces. Energy monitoring will lead to reduced power usage and improved air quality.
- But as the Journal’s editors warn in their concluding comments, resources will be called for to make it all happen. Governments manage spectrum, and there simply isn’t enough high-powered spectrum allocations currently to bring 5G everywhere it should be. Without bandwidth, “we’ll be bottlenecking 5G’s game-changing speed and capping its potential.” Governments need to allocate that spectrum ASAP, so industry can begin new network deployments, and make universal 5G services a reality.
Somehow, it always comes back to the government, doesn’t it?