We are all familiar with 4G LTE. We enjoy its speed that it offers and for many of us, are elated when we see that tiny icon indicating it at our smartphones. Now the world prepare for the coming of 5G. Besides the 5G throughput that is in the range of gigabits per second (Gbps), have you ever wonder why 5G is not a luxury but a necessity entering the future? Here are 2 points why.
1. 5G allows instantaneous response time
4G network had been developed to meet the demand of people-oriented connectivity through terminal devices such as your smartphones and tablets. The connectivity is addressed by means of communication through voice and data. However today connectivity has been expanded to THINGS which can be either mobile or static. Often times, communication between THINGS (better known as Internet of Things, IoT), the response has to be near instantaneous. A very good example will be the autonomous car, driverless and capable of self-navigation. Lets imagine a road full of cars, but all of them without drivers! How does a car “see” one another? How can a car discern when to stop or slow down when an unexpected event happens in front of it? To achieve this, firstly it would need live data of its surrounding, secondly, the live data feed into it has to be near instantaneous. We are talking of reading the data, processing it and making a decision all in a split second. The response time without human intervention has become super critical. This is hard to achieve with our current 4G throughput and latency. But with 5G, it has become possible! Do you know that a driverless car that is connected to the 5G network is much more safer than a car with driver? A normal human response time is around a few 100 ms whereas 5G is capable of a response time around 1-10ms only. That is the beauty of 5G. This leads us to our next point
2. 5G revolutionizes emergency services
With its inherent feature of instantaneous response time, 5G is key to revolutionizing many of the emergency services we know of. In terms of healthcare, 5G will enhance the already digitization of our public healthcare services. Remote healthcare diagnostic and surgery are some of the spotlight of 5G enabled services. Healthcare monitoring will no longer be passive. With 5G, it will be an increasingly active process, where medical service providers will be able to constantly monitor the conditions of patients anywhere anytime. Passive monitoring will no longer be satisfactory. In situations where few minutes of delay can prove fatal to a patient, an instantaneous response is critical in decision making and countermeasures. Take for example a patient having a heart attack in his house with no one around. With 5G supported healthcare, the condition of the patient would be immediately known to his or her medical service providers, potentially saving ones life before it is too late.
Besides healthcare, 5G are also instrumental in mission critical services such as disaster control and rescue operations. Critical mission services require fast response to mitigate the casualties or damages and hence the low latency feature of a few milliseconds in 5G will enable these services to achieve greater effectiveness. Technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and autonomous robots will become a reality in this field, providing information through mapping, modelling and simulations that are challenging to achieve before 5G, helping save lives in ways that are far more effective than the current methods.
The path from 4G to 5G is an exciting one, albeit a challenging one too. There are infinite number of applications that can be enabled by 5G as far as IoT connectivity is concerned. On the other side of the coin however, it raises a big concern on potential job cuts due to the effectiveness and simplicity of autonomous system through 5G when compared with human capabilities. But one thing is for sure, technology cannot yet achieve mankind’s ability to adapt, innovate and create. So instead of worrying about losing jobs, lets ride on this 5G train and become one of the enablers and innovators, taking full advantage of the capability offered in the advent of 5G.