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5G: Path From Invention To Innovation
5G will enable innovative business models that are bound to revolutionize the way we live and communicate.
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Over the past couple of years, the latest generation of wireless connectivity – the fifth generation, has been the primary topic of discussion in the tech industry. With 5G expected to dominate the year 2021, many consumers and businesses are now eagerly waiting to experience the potential of this new wireless technology. In fact, according to IDC the number of 5G connections is expected to rise up to 1.10 billion over the next five years from the approximate 10 million in 2019.
Over the years, the development of each new generation of wireless technology has been hallmarked by unique innovations – 3G brought forth a wave of smartphone advances which enabled a new ecosystem of mobile apps; 4G-LTE delivered high-speed mobile internet, driving the ‘on-demand’ economy and powered streaming of videos, social media, and gaming ‘anytime, anywhere’. Now, 5G is the new pervasive, high-bandwidth, low-latency network is all set to take the new technology stage.
As seen before, wireless generation updates such as 4G-LTE have usually taken around 2-3 years to grow from network infrastructure and deployment to innovative applications and business models. Such trends suggest that a similar lag should be expected in harnessing the future 5G potential. Despite all this, this lag period should not be considered as dormant. This is the period where innovation meets experimentation to fulfil expectations. It’s the time where developers, investors, companies, and entire industries are inventing and investing in 5G infrastructure, products, and business models. The success of these models can only be determined when the final product is ready and deployed for consumer use.
History has also been witness to fast movers unlocking network advantages and leaping into the global future. The speed at which infrastructure is used has determined which business model emerged as the winner. Despite its relative infancy, we are already witnessing intense trials, investments, and alliances to drive 5G-enabled business and consumer-use cases. This progress is quite similar to what we had witnessed during the launch of previous-generation technologies.
The 5G network has already become the buzzword in the industrial world and is providing reliable solutions for enterprises to help overcome today's’ challenges. Industries like education, automobile, gaming, shopping and many more are looking towards 5G as the way forward.
The smartphone industry has also made the first move by launching 5G-enabled smartphones with successful results. A CMR study revealed that 5G users in China and Western Europe experienced the benefits of the network in form of better-quality video calls, faster downloads, and the ability to stream UHD videos seamlessly. It also showed 5G readiness as one of the top smartphone purchase criteria for Indians to be future-ready and identified video as a dominant feature. In India, smartphone brands including Samsung and OPPO have emerged as the leading adopters of 5G enabled devices.
The wireless network has been in the forefront driving future innovation with a unique infrastructure for each industry. The heavy-load factories and city grids require a more comprehensive infrastructure as compared to those needed by the smartphone industry. Governments are still debating over the installation of different 5G structures in India and are slowly making progress. The need of the hour is to herald the establishment of 5G infrastructure to usher in the subsequent innovation. The most notable changes will be seen by smartphone users. When 5G becomes prominent, smartphone owners will be able to maintain a more reliable connection with IoT and cloud services, boosting performance and allowing more sophisticated apps to run on your phone.
India is gearing up to welcome the new 5G technology and although it is a bit far, consumers and enterprises alike are eagerly waiting for it.
With all the innovations and experimentation going around, it is uncertain to determine which 5G use cases will materialize in the time to come. The only certainty is that 5G will enable innovative business models that are bound to revolutionize the way we live and communicate.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.