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It took a little under a century from when the first two-way reciprocal telephone call made on October 9th 1876 to the first handheld cellular phone call made on April 3, 1973. In less than half that time, we have powered forward from a single handset in a single cell to a global network of interconnectivity.
Real time voice and visual communication over the Internet and interconnected digital networks are the beating heart of a 24/7 connected world.
4G and the mobile Internet
The fourth generation – 4G – mobile communications standard has powered the take up of the mobile web, something which the early innovators in communications could not have envisaged in their wildest dreams. It has made real time web browsing, video calling, on-demand video streaming and interactive gaming common place. However, there is still latency, even with 4G services. As we begin to enter the era of 5G and rapid rollout, just how will this impact our world?
Faster response – zero latency
With billions of smart devices, computers, laptops and Internet enabled TV sets, the current system would eventually grind to a snail’s pace or worse – lock up completely. Combined with cloud gaming which places demand on bandwidth, increasing latency as a result of reduced bandwidth availability, would have a detrimental effect on all these services. With increasing numbers of users and devices, so comes with it the increased demand on network capacity. The emerging 5G networks will:
- Exponentially increase network capacity
- Deliver faster more reliable connections
- Reduce latency
- Open up new opportunities for business
These tech advancements will enable a new generation of apps, will pave the way for new services and open up opportunities for business and commerce hitherto unseen. So which industries and sectors will benefit?
Online betting and gaming
Just about every business and industry sector will benefit from 5G introduction. Faster networks which are able to handle vast amounts of data in real time will enable online gaming companies such as NetBet Nigeria to offer more intuitive, real time betting opportunities without any of the current latency. No delays and a better service for clients will deliver improved revenue streams and reduced costs.
Cloud gaming platforms such as Shadow, GeForce Now and Vortex will be able to deliver more realistic game immersion experiences as a result of exponential reductions in potential network latency issues. No longer will games judder or freeze or users experience poor sound or image quality as a result of bandwidth issues.
Autonomous vehicles – driverless vehicles – will become commonplace. Automatic vehicle navigation without the need for a driver is currently clunky and not 100% reliable, as this report in The Guardian refers to, when an Uber autonomous vehicles killed a woman when she was crossing an Arizona street.
However, as 5G rollout continues, the accuracy of on-board tech will improve exponentially; Uber, Lyft, and Waymo are at the forefront of autonomous vehicle testing at the time of writing. Legacy car companies such as BMW, Honda and Ford are spending billions in research, development and testing – watch the space.
It is quite possible that business investment will be driven by key decisions being made from the wealth of real time data which they receive. This will pave the way for innovation and cost savings in industries such as agriculture, farming, retail and manufacturing. This will in turn pave the way for better customer experience and more stabilised long term growth.
Virtual reality and AI
Who’s to say where virtual reality will take us. Perhaps sports fans will be able to sit in their own home yet experience the game and the atmosphere as if they were at the stadium. Perhaps holidays to some far away exotic destination will be experienced by way of a virtual reality landscape viewed from your own home. Maybe something as mundane as viewing a house by way of virtual reality will become the new normal.
The rapid expansion in the use of AI in industry is gathering pace. AI is in use in limited form in global markets predicting price movements of stocks and commodities. The Google search algorithm snoops on our online activity, gathering data about us all which it uses to generate increased revenue from more targeted advertising.
However it pans out, 5G is going to revolutionise the way in which we communicate and interact at all levels of society. It will change our perceptions of the world we live in, just as those early innovators changed the world with the inventions of the telegraph, telephone, radio and TV all those years ago.