November 20, 2018

5G and the Future of Work

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The intersection of the fifth generation of wireless telecommunications network (5G) and the fourth industrial revolution could not be happening at a more opportune time.

5G is a multifaceted technology, and not merely an incremental improvement of download speeds in comparison to today’s fourth generation (4G) LTE technology. 5G is a newly architected solution with the capability to support a heterogeneous diversity of applications across all industry verticals.

Some of the key factors that make 5G a General Purpose Technology transfomative at a global scale include:

  • Gigabit speeds: Massive broadband capability delivering gigabytes of bandwidth on demand.
  • Near-zero delay: Reliable ultra-low latency in the network enabling immediate and synchronous remote control between humans and machines and between machines.
  • Massive capacity: Vast webscale networks to connect billions of smart sensors and devices.

In addition, 5G is designed to optimize capacity, coverage, energy consumption and overall cost.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is bringing forward new innovations in the emerging ecosystem from virtual and augmented reality for enterprise to artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, haptics, and an array of technology advancements that are still in their infancy. 5G serves as the underlying platform to enable these technologies to be brought into mass adoption.

The future of mobile communications is going to be vastly different from what we are used to today. With computing spreading to everyday devices, artificial intelligence helping to autonomously predict, correct, and optimize operations and real-time analytics to help us make sense of it all, we are looking at a cyber-cognitive world where there is increased blending of communication between humans and things.

Services are expanding from the virtual to the physical world, and a radical change in collaboration is taking place as the physical world increasingly expands into the virtual world by way of mixed/virtual/and augmented reality.

5G is revolutionizing the technology demands of the connected home, of crowd-experience at events, and in industry. It competes and coexists with both wireline and wireless technologies.

For example, 90% of today’s factories rely on wired coverage, making them infrastructure-heavy, static, and fixed. The factories of the future need to be agile, modular, and highly interconnected in order to gain a competitive edge and to cope with rapidly changing trends.

Operators are racing to meet the challenge. 5G commercial installations are underway, and the USA is leading the way globally with an aggressive schedule of deployments planned by the end of this year. Korea, China, and Japan are all in the process of launching 5G service by next year.  

In addition, test beds are being set up at various locations around the globe in order to validate and verify 5G use cases:

Monisha Jain, Head of 5G Special Projects at Nokia, presented interactive 5G demos powered by Nokia at NGP Capital's World of Connections event, on November 14, 2018. Her background in Physics and Computer Science and her passion for psychology drive her to think about the ways in which the universe enables technology and people to interconnect in ways that do the most good. She set up the 5G SmartLab in Nokia Irving to explore the different ways in 5G can transform how we work, play, learn, and collaborate. Tweet to at @monisha_jain1.