Soon enough, smartphones will not be the only devices that require a data connection. Technological disruptions, like autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things and smart wearables, have raised concerns on radio frequency congestion and driven the need for cellular data. In other words, next-generation technologies will need to be developed with capacity in mind to serve a much greater volume of devices. And 5G is set to be the next wave of innovation for the telecommunications space. With industry experts expecting the first versions of 5G to be deployed by 2020, 2017 will be an important stage in the 5G development.

Indeed, mobile operators and wireless carriers have announced plans to field-test 5G networks in 2017. Governments, companies and academics around the world have also either stepped forward to lead the 5G mobile technologies development or pledged their support to 5G trials and fibre broadband. Touted as the key to a new age of endless connected possibilities, 5G promises to deliver greater speed, lower latency, better spectrum efficiency and larger coverage range. The availability of the 5G connections will burgeon a new era, spurring on vast deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Higher speed for seamless experience

By 2020, more than 50 billion devices will be connected; mobile traffic will exceed 127 Exabyte. To cope with this heavy traffic, 5G research needs to be accelerated to prevent an ineluctable congestion of our network bandwidth.

The resilience and advancement of 5G networks will redefine the norm of Internet connectivity and speed. Download speeds will reach up to 10Gbps, latency rates will be lower than current network capabilities. Network connectivity will be more efficient. The increased speeds and lower latencies mean that inter-device communications can be pushed even closer to ‘real-time’ communications. This will open inroads for improvements in technology that require such capabilities – for instance, in the advancement of self-driving car technologies.

The transition to 5G will be as intuitive as it is essential, enabling information to be transmitted to connected devices, servers and clouds - more rapidly and seamlessly.

Greater reliability to steer IoT landscape

A nascent, albeit prominent, growth area spurred by the advancement in technology is the Internet of Things (IoT). Machina Research predicts that IoT will account for 10 million 5G connections by 2024. In the same vein, there has been a remarkable rise in connected applications for both consumers and industries in recent years. Millions of sensors have paved the way for bolder projects such as Smart City efforts, driverless automobiles and augmented reality. In addition, the lower latency rate, flexible spectrum management and ability to host large amounts of connections simultaneously, will ensure that future projects are developed with greater reliability and sustainability.

Characterised by a future of heterogeneous technological environment, 5G is pivotal in steering the IoT landscape that will see changes not only in technologies, businesses and governments but also the environment, healthcare and the mere notion of "convenience".

 
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