We’ve all heard that the coming 5G networks promise low latency – as low as 1 ms – and very fast speeds up to and possibly over 1Gbps, as well as the increased capacity to carry many more simultaneous users.
Overall a massive net improvement in performance, but how can this be used?
As we sit in on the conference program and roam the exhibitor booths at MWC19, we’re trying to form a picture of the use-cases for 5G for imei’s customers. What we’re seeing and hearing is a boost in capability and enabling of:
- IoT – the Internet of Things
- AR – Augmented Reality
- VR – Virtual Reality
IoT - The Internet of Things
Breaking that down further, for the Australian market we see the possibility IoT applications in smart city projects, intelligent energy management, and fully monitored food chains in agriculture – all of these featuring 5G enabled sensors feeding back millions of data points to control centres.
All these 5G sensors and monitors will run low power 5G SIMs and will themselves need to be deployed, monitored and managed.
AR - Augmented Reality
Augmented reality involves superimposing information in real time on live images viewed on a screen or glasses – such as the street address, name and tenants of a building while viewing the street map.
This capability is compute-intensive and requires a fast connection to databases and image processing, and only becomes useful when there’s little delay – perfect for 5G low latency networks.
The evolution of AR to power both entertainment in the form of games – like Pokemon GO and productivity applications like remote field maintenance, remote health diagnosis where the field operator wears AR-enabled glasses to guide step-by-step instructions.
VR – Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality headsets are already mature technologies, what we’ve seen explored is the ability to expand the use of VR into healthcare and aged care sectors perhaps helping patients connect with places and experiences that they cannot interact with real life.
These are some of the more extreme concepts on display at #MWC19, as always once the 5G technology deploys in live networks some of these may come to life, while others may not.
More likely is that once in the hands of users and customers new ideas will emerge.
Telstra CEO Andy Penn at #MWC19
This was a point well made by Telstra CEO Andy Penn at the Keynote panel on “The Next Generation” at MWC. Andy’s perspective was that Telstra was on the right course in deploying its 5G network early and that Telstra’s customers would devise new use cases that we cannot predict: “The use-cases will take care of themselves, let's deliver the network”
imei will be there alongside Telstra to provide high quality managed services with exceptional customer service.