Some might look at 5G technology as nothing special – just “the next upgrade” and no more special than was the jump from 3G to 4G roughly a decade ago. Certainly the cynical element among us would dampen all the hype around the promises of 5G – more speed, less latency, broader application, et cetera – by pointing out that 5G will take years to fully roll out.
Nonetheless the fact remains that 5G, as part of a greater convergence of technologies involving 5G, AI, blockchain, and the IOT, will enable a fully meshed world of wirelessly connected everything, woven seamlessly into the fabric of modern living, imbuing our environment with an intelligence that evaluates and responds to us.
One thing’s for sure: 5G will bring speed, and lots of it. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has defined key 5G performance requirements as being a peak minimum download speed of 20Gb/s, a peak minimum upload rate of 10Gb/s, as well as millisecond latencies and support for 100 devices per square meter (or one million devices per square kilometre).
There is clearly a great deal of excitement around 5G, with some likening the upgrade from 4G to 5G as being something in the order of an upgrade from 56K dial-up to cable Internet. However, what’s most needed at this stage is an clear and even analysis of what 5G could mean … for better and for worse.
In the TELUS publication “Delivering on the Promise of 5G: A Game Changer for Canadian Industry,” PCL Chief Information Officer Mark Bryant and SmartONE Solutions President Ted Maulucci discuss the challenges and growing pains of bringing the world up to a 5G standard. Also discussed are the enormous potential benefits of 5G, including:
- 5G will make possible even more technological disruption
- From “smart” communities to “smarter” communities
- 5G as a path to building community
- Huge economic benefits and more jobs created