The impact of 5G on our lives is likely to be more dramatic, as compared to the coming of the internet itself. More so, because, after much anticipation and deliberation, the 5th Generation wireless network is about to become a reality. It is this technology that will finally aid in building a truly connected world and further explore its possibilities. With ultra-reliable high speed and ultra-responsive low latency, 5G is gearing up to change the way we perceive life today. In fact the technology demonstrates the potential to not only alter the way we work, but also the way we will live. IHS Markit projects, 5G will add an extra $12 trillion to the global economy by 2035.
5G networks will offer an unprecedented leap in bandwidth speeds in comparison to previous mobile networks. For example, downlink peak data throughput could reach 20 Gbps. Uplink peak data rates, on the other hand, could be as high as 10 Gbps. 5G will also reduce latency and improve overall network efficiency. Streamlining network architectures will deliver end-to-end latency requirements of less than 5 ms.
In the near future, if we travel to a new place, our smartphone will be able to recommend us a restaurant for dinner, make reservations on our behalf – without us even prompting it. The phone will even be able to call an ambulance if we suddenly need help and tell the medical professional as to what went wrong. All this will be possible once 5G and AI combine. Boosted by meaningful innovations in memory and storage, 5G, coupled with Artificial Intelligence (AI), offers enormous potential. It could transform our phones into prescient, intuitive, intelligent and smart companions.
5G use cases
Let us look at a typical 5G use-case scenario. You tap on your smartphone and the garage door opens and you drive out your car out. En-route to your office, you receive a text message from your favorite drive-through round the corner, about some exciting breakfast options you can pick from. You pick up your order and get going on your way. As you drive down the road, you stream your favorite music via YouTube through voice commands to a Bluetooth enabled in-car audio system. You can even manage the temperature and lighting inside your house, via an app on your phone.
This is a perfect example of a fully connected world. 5G provides faster connectivity and high speed data streaming, which starts your audio, IOT relays information to your garage door and AI works in the background to fetch you information that is relevant to you. It is however worth noting that 5G is not just about faster internet speeds. Such low latency high speed 5G will make a lot of newer technologies mainstream and part of our day-to-day lives.
Demonstrating the versatility of 5G, the top 10 applications of the technology will be seen in Cloud Virtual and Augmented Reality, Connected Automotive, Smart Manufacturing, Connected Energy, Wireless E-health, Wireless Home entertainment, Connected Drones, Social network, Personal AI assistant and the Smart Cities. In fact, experts are calling 5G ‘5 times G’ because of the numerous possibilities it would unleash into the world.
Regarding standards that covers 5G network, the first wave of networks and devices will be classed as Non-Standalone (NSA). It means that existing 4G infrastructure will support 5G networks. In this scenario, 5G powered smartphones will connect to 5G frequencies for data-throughput improvements, but will still use 4G for non-data chores such as talking to the cell towers and servers.
5G = Post-smartphone era
In terms of handsets and mobile devices, higher data speeds and faster connectivity means, everything that we do with our smartphones now, we will able to do more, with improved efficiency, in ways that are faster and better. Many are referring to 5G as the “post-smartphone era”. In fact, smartphones will not be the center of focus anymore once 5G gets commercially deployed. Instead wearable devices will come to the fore. You will be able to put on augmented reality glasses that allow you to do everything with minimal effort. Eventually, use cases of a typical smartphone will plummet. Moreover, by 2020, 90 percent of people over the age of six will have a mobile phone. As mobile penetration deepens, 5G will become even more commonplace.
In that light, Huawei announced its futuristic strategy for the 5G era named, ‘1+8+N’, with major focus on Smart TVs and wearables. In the latest strategy ‘1’ refers to smartphones, and ‘8’ refers to tablets and wearables. Lastly. ‘N’ refers to mobile offices, smart homes, sports and health, audio-visual entertainment and smart travel products. Huawei has also come out with Kirin 990 5G, the world’s 1st Flagship 5G SoC powered with 7nm+ EUV3 chipset.
Future of videos
Videos nowadays make up for more than half of our smartphone data traffic. With 5G on the anvil, its low latency levels will enable us to facilitate faster sharing of videos. Video formats are improving by leaps and bounds, which also require higher bandwidth capacities as they are becoming more data-intensive. Live video sharing that we know of, will become an entirely new immersive connected experience. In fact, video chats will become so immersive that you will feel that you are in the same room with the person.
Also, there are discussions happening on the possibilities of interactive movies, on the back of ultra-responsive connections. The new promises for video formats such as 360-degree video will pave the way for new types of realities (VR & AR). There will also be smart boarding gates at airports, powered by 5G. Here, authentication would be carried out via facial recognition technology, removing the present paper based system.
Furthermore, the demand for AR and VR gaming is also huge, and the keys to unlocking it are cloud and 5G. Cloud-based VR gaming (combining cloud, VR and smartphones) will replace gaming as we know today. Through simulations, players become an active participant in the game, with features such as motion capture. VR and AR will enable you to go get really close to the action and you will be able to witness performances and events from very close proximities. A mobile app will also allow you to choose between different perspectives and angles.
5G, therefore will usher in disruptive alterations. Emergency services will get optimized and efficient and a new immersive and inventive connected world will ensue. Moreover, AI driven media streaming over OTT platforms will become a reality in the newer future, powered by 5G technology. Consumption of entertainment and faster data speeds has also created the preference for larger sized screens. This itself has opened the market for 5G phone.
The article is written by Tornado Pan, Country Manager, Consumer Business Group, Huawei India