Hands down, no debate, no question about it: It’s 5G. And it will change our world in ways we are only beginning to understand, sooner than you might think.
In fact, leaders in global technology, business and economics are calling 5G the dawn of the 4th industrial revolution, comparing it to the steam engine, electricity, the automobile and the microchip.
This is much more than the next-generation mobile network. It’s an ecosystem that will bring a 1000x increase in data capacity, up to a 100x increase in data speeds and a 100x increase in the number of devices connected to the network.
At the same time, 5G will be more secure and 10x more reliable than earlier networks, routinely delivering data and sharp images in under 10 milliseconds, including true real-time HD images. Not only that, but 5G will enable precise device control from remote locations.
Accenture estimates that the automation benefits created by 5G will have a global economic impact of up to $11 trillion by 2025. That’s “trillion” with a T.
It will affect literally every industry and every corner of our world.
Let’s start with transportation. The shift to autonomous vehicles demands the enormous bandwidth, speed and reliability of 5G for safe, accurate control over what will one day be millions of driverless vehicles. If you had doubts, 5G will make you a believer.
5G can make smart cities a reality, optimizing everything from transit systems to trash collection, enhancing public health and significantly improving public safety and emergency management.
If you’re in the entertainment business, your customers will be able to stream HD movies from a moving train with zero buffering – or they’ll download those movies in under 10 seconds.
In energy, 5G will accelerate the long-promised smart grid and integrate millions of energy-consuming devices through low-cost connections, improving forecasting and demand-side management, reducing the duration of power outages and cutting the cost of our energy bills.
In manufacturing, 5G will usher in a new age of automation and plant efficiency, enabling fleets of robots and drones to work together in high-precision, high-quality assembly — all configured, monitored and managed remotely.
In healthcare, 5G will enable wireless remote surgery and dramatically improve telehealth services in rural areas. It will create the Internet of Medical Things, connecting doctors with millions of patients instantly and continuously via wearable devices. The healthcare wearables market is already growing by leaps and bounds, with device shipments predicted to grow from 8 million in 2016 to an estimated 33 million in 2021.
The Internet of Things impact goes well beyond healthcare to span all industries. 5G will soon create a high-capacity, high-speed backbone that will link hundreds of millions of devices, enabling a level of learning, efficiency, service and automation that’s hard to imagine.
Think of the way Uber and Facebook and Amazon have changed the way we live. Ten years ago, few of us could have imagined it.
4G made those changes possible.
5G will be far more powerful. Look for it in 2020. What will it mean for your business?