5G network crucial for development of the Internet of Things
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5G network crucial for development of the Internet of Things

Remember those old school "brick" cell phones from the late 1980s popularized by Gordon Gekko's famous walk along the beach in the movie Wall Street? They may look like museum pieces now, but back then they were cutting-edge technology. That was an example of "1G" technology.

Fast forward 30 years, and now the upcoming 5G revolution is poised to dramatically change the way we access the internet to communicate, conduct transactions, and produce and deliver goods and services. Though it will take some time to prepare the infrastructure to roll out 5G technology worldwide, it is worth considering some of the various impacts this technology could have.

5G paradigm shift

5G is more than just online gaming and ensuring that your favorite streaming tv shows don't freeze up during crucial plot moments. 5G networks will improve certain services and create new ones thanks to their broader reach, massive increase in speed, and ability to send much larger amounts of data. 5G's global reach brings the possibility of vastly improving lives in both developed and developing economies.

5G will create a paradigm shift for industry and governments, according to Angus Muirhead, Head of Thematic Equities at Credit Suisse Security, speed, and the ability to handle huge amounts of data are game-changers for these institutions.

5G advancements over 4G

5G future trends

What tech solutions would 5G enable? Muirhead names a few: autonomous vehicles, precision agriculture, supply chain management, and logistics. "Possibly machines in a factory floor could be untethered and connected to the factory network over a 5G connection which is much more reliable than Wi-Fi," he says.

5G network and Internet of Things

5G network and the Internet of Things (IoT) go hand in hand: failsafe networks of devices require fast and reliable internet connections. They will enable long-debated innovations such as smart cities and self-driving public transportation to come to fruition. In such services, there is little or no room for failure, delay or miscommunication. 5G should help tackle these problems because latency, or the delay to connect to the network (which influences the response time), can be reduced to as little as one millisecond (compared to 3G and 4G which is approximately 50 milliseconds). This means a machine should be able to react faster than a human being in critical situations.

Race to 5G

What is 5G and what makes it so revolutionary?

5G vs privacy and security concerns

5G and the Internet of Things will save time and money through better connectivity. On the other hand, we should be aware of privacy and security concerns (including data leaks, phishing, and other forms of hacking) that may come with 5G. Martin Clements, Advisor at Credit Suisse and cyber security specialist, points out that "the more dependent we are on any technology, the greater the cyber risk."

Mobile technology evolution

Obviously, the implications of these types of risks are vastly different when it comes to whether or not your fridge orders the right groceries versus a power plant overheating or robot surgeons performing operations. To ensure safety, cybersecurity needs to be the top priority.

"Any new technology takes time to shake up the floors." Clements adds, "The same will be true for 5G."