Realizing the promise of 5G

I usually view ‘sponsored content’ with a grain or two of salt, recognizing that the articles are effectively advertisements. But by no means would I say that there isn’t valuable information to be found in those articles.

Case in point: a tweet from the new Chief Marketing Officer at Qualcomm steered me toward an article in Axios, “How 5G is creating new experiences, transforming industries and enriching lives”.

It was a reminder that 5G isn’t just about delivering faster speeds to our smart phones (which it does). The evolution to 5G also enables connectivity to far more devices within a given area, in the order of a million connections per square kilometer. Many of these devices may not need high speed, but network connectivity will enable a world of new applications.

The Qualcomm sponsored content speaks of 3 application areas: Education, Health Care and Manufacturing. The article served to remind me of the 5G Canada Council website that includes a number of resources, describing even more applications and the impact on sectors in a Canadian context, such as “Accelerating 5G in Canada – Benefits for Cities and Rural Communities” from Accenture Strategy.

There has been a lot of skepticism about the promise of 5G technology, as well as a lot of unwarranted and completely unfounded health concerns. Among the benefits of the investment in 5G networks will be a reduced carbon footprint as described in “The Role of 5G in the Fight Against Climate Change”.

Yesterday, Ookla (the company behind Speedtest) announced the acquisition of Solutelia, to complement its tools for mobile network testing and measurements. As the media release observes, “The advent of 5G is resulting in substantial changes to the physical footprint of networks, which will require more cell sites and more intelligent, complex radio networks. This radical shift in the industry means that network operators need to be able to massively scale their testing and optimization efforts, without a commensurate increase in operational spending.”

As the mid-band 3.5GHz spectrum auction wraps later this week, it is worthwhile reviewing the kinds of opportunities driving these generational levels of capital investment by Canada’s (and the world’s) communications companies. There will be benefits enabled by 5G for all segments: rural and urban; consumers and enterprise; small business and entrepreneurs; farming, health care, manufacturing, transportation, retail. Across Canada, hundreds of communities, large and small, have already been 5G enabled.

What applications can you envision from a world of networked everything?

Scroll to Top