5G is the network of the near future. And there are already a lot of fantasies about it. To stay away from the myths, I lift the hood of 5G for you. What’s underneath? A closer look at the technology reveals the concrete possibilities of 5G.
If you watch a movie online, chances are that the images will reach you via a remote server. The great distance that your blockbuster travels causes problems in the form of delays and small lags in images. 5G ensures this will become history. The entire network is available to every user to process and send huge amounts of data in real-time. This way, your film finds the shortest route to your screen. Result: a crystal clear film. That is great, of course, but for other applications, this technology is even essential. Think of vehicles. 5G reduces delays, or latency, from hundreds of milliseconds to just a few milliseconds. This makes the network so reliable that self-driving cars always have their digital eyes on the road – and we can rely on it blindly.
5G clears the way
Another special feature of 5G is that it can be split up. We call this “slicing.” Imagine that the network consists of a wide road with many lanes, where everyone is allowed to drive freely on any of those. We reserve separate lanes for high priority users, such as the police and ambulance. This way, they can always do their essential work. This guarantee did not exist before. Too much traffic on the road leads to actual congestion. Traffic jams! That is why separate networks had to be set up for critical matters. Cumbersome and expensive. With 5G, we can reserve “lanes” permanently or only during peak hours. Think of a football stadium that receives a flood of data-guzzling fans every few weeks. With 5G, such a club will easily reserve the necessary bandwidth so that they remain digitally in the match.
5G gives air
5G is, therefore, an efficient, flexible, and extremely reliable network. And did I mention that it is a lot faster than 4G? That is not an unnecessary luxury. Consumers and companies are increasingly data-hungry. European data usage is expected to increase fivefold in the next five years. Due to customer expectations, government regulation, and competition, internet providers have to deliver more and more, while prices are not rising at the same pace. Because 5G is much more efficient than previous networks, it can pump more data around at a lower cost. This gives telecom companies air to breathe again. 5G is, therefore, very important for the economic model behind the internet. What else users can expect from all the benefits of 5G will vary by segment: consumers, industries, governments – they will all reap different benefits. Read along:
5G for consumers
5G delivers a lot to consumers. Mobile devices are getting faster and more capable. If you like streaming movies or gaming, get ready for a party. After all, the gamer with the lowest delay on the line can treat an opponent to the first attack. A strategic advantage! Augmented and virtual reality via mobile devices provide a new, spectacular experience. Consumers also see all other devices around them change and become smarter. Refrigerators, boilers, cars – everything is connected and smart. The heating in the house switches on when necessary, but also off when possible. The refrigerator helps to waste as little food as possible, and the electric car prefers to charge itself during off-peak hours. This makes life a lot easier and less wasteful for the consumer.
5G for industry
Worldwide, the industry is linked by wires. Not figuratively, but literally. When it comes to important connections, wireless networks are often taboo. Instead, everything is cabled, and applications are often provided with its own networks. Very expensive and miles away from the bright future that presents itself: factories and logistics companies that operate largely or even completely independently. By freeing themselves from wiring, companies can set up their processes with enormous flexibility. This makes working with robots a lot easier. Think of machines that are fully automated, can move freely, and can even work together. These possibilities are no longer science fiction. The fast and reliable 5G makes it all possible.
5G for governments
Data and the quality of networks are of great importance in many government tasks. Just think of the control of traffic, air quality, taxes, and general safety. 5G offers many possibilities on all these fronts. A term that often comes up is the “smart city.” A city that is smartly organized in many ways. Sensors, connected to each other and to the internet, constantly keep a finger on the pulse. Via this data, the traffic is perfectly regulated, the garbage collected, the street lighting controlled, and the energy distributed throughout the city. It may sound futuristic, but the chances are that your city or municipality is already working on these kinds of innovations.
5G in the making
We can think and dream about 5G in so many ways. And there is nothing wrong with doing that. Previous generations of mobile networks have spawned a whole world of mobile concepts and apps. 5G offers us endless new possibilities. I can’t wait to see what industry and private markets come up with. To make their ideas a reality, VodafoneZiggo and Ericsson look together for the best solutions. For example, we recently entered into a partnership with the municipality of Eindhoven for this purpose. In a 5G lab, we put our heads together with scientists, students, and numerous companies. Ultimately with only one goal: to maximize the potential of 5G.
Stefan Krijnen – 5G and IoT specialist at Ericsson
Taking on challenges together
Ericsson is one of VodafoneZiggo’s most important cooperation partners. It supplies and maintains all its mobile networks. In addition, we look together for opportunities to serve the industry and private market as well as possible. For the industry, this often concerns customization and special applications. One of Philips’ ambitions, one of the first use cases within 5G Eindhoven, is to ensure that a specialized doctor can remotely attend an operation, manage staff, and even perform it. VodafoneZiggo and Ericsson tackle these kinds of challenges together and ensure that the most insane wishes become reality.