While 100,000 people gathered in the Spanish city this week for the Mobile World Congress, the industry’s annual conference, the next-generation mobile network took center stage.
This not only has to do with its super-fast speeds, but the 5G network will create a series of developments that will change daily life.
“5G is going to have a massive impact on people’s lives,” says Laila Worrell, executive president of Altran North America, a high-tech engineering company. “We are going to see a great advance in the quality of life that 5G can offer to people,” he said.
5G cars and without driver
For starters, there is a role you can play in your daily trips. Autonomous cars have been on the radar for a while, but with a 5G network they could become reality.
Industry players say that the 5G network can be 100 times faster than 4G and that a large number of devices can connect to the network simultaneously. This will allow the vehicles to talk to each other in real time: they will know when another car is changing lanes or braking and so they can adapt to advance properly.
The BMW iNEXT, an electric van that is expected to hit the market in 2021, is equipped with sensors that collect and process data from the vehicle environment.
“This car is constantly monitoring the road that surrounds it and sends relevant information to the cloud, generating a real map in real time that, in turn, is transferred to all other cars”, Christoph Grote, senior vice president of electronics at BMW.
5G and the bees
The benefits of 5G do not stop there. The network could also have environmental impacts when used in smart agriculture.
David Houghton, general manager of Asset Tracking Solutions at NimbeLink, tells ADN how 5G and the Internet of Things can help protect bees and, in turn, the world’s food supply.
“Hives are valuable and, as such, are in high demand, so caregivers of hives need to protect them. Therefore, they use the asset trackers to monitor the health of the hive, “he says.
NimbeLink, in partnership with The Bee Corp, has developed a hive tracking and management system through which sensors collect essential data, such as temperature, humidity, movement and location, which can then be transmitted for analysis.
The future: 6G
Of course, just when we understand what 5G can do, scientists are already working on the next big network.
“5G is good, but 6G is better,” says Ari Pouttu, a science professor at the University of Oulu, Finland.
It is expected to be deployed in 2030, 6G will be a development beyond the smartphone. “Let’s throw away smartphones and think about how humans interact with infrastructure,” says Poutto. “You can have smart surfaces with electronic devices, smart glasses so you can have devices everywhere.”