Why the 2020s will be known as the decade of 5G

5G is the next evolutionary step in cellular wireless networks and with its advanced technology, it is expected to be 66 times faster than 4G networks.

5G’s latency stands at 1-5 ms and 1-10 Gbps – this speed is going to be an outstanding addition to the kind of technology that will grace our 2020s. One possible application of this would be in connected cars, whose features require strong internet connection made possible by 5G.

5G is expected to support 1,000 times more traffic volume than satellite broadband in addition to high download speed close to 1-10 Gbs/s for automotive use cases. This includes supporting services such as autonomous driving, virtual reality, complying with the requirement of IoT, etc. 5G services will be able to operate Level 3 or 4 automation, supporting its enormous data processing during real-time. This would allow services such as real-time sensor fusion and third-part app integration to be supported.

It will also support features of augmented/virtual reality, such as real-time traffic, real-time parking, and ADAS information (Alerts to actual real-time information to increase safety). With driving experience slowly assimilating into other personal activities, such services will easily find uses, basically making smart living a part of everyday life.

To demonstrate the usage of 5G, Delphi made its automated driving car “the Roadrunner” travel around 3,400 miles from San Francisco to New York in nine days. Its six long-range radars, four short-range radars, three vision-based cameras, six LIDAR sensors, and one localization system engaged in heavy data transfer, millisecond decision making, and network coverage, and collected around three terabytes of data during its journey. With 5G, all of it will be easier.

This says a lot, especially as industry experts expect that it will impact close to one third of the market in the next 8 years. This means that by 2025, 5G will be widely used in North America, Europe, and China.

It is estimated that 5G will support a significant number of connected vehicles in these locations – over 22 percent in North America, 14 percent in Europe, and 18 percent in China as compared to competing technologies. These include satellite communication that will likely sustain slightly over 18 percent in North America, 12 percent in Europe, and 20 percent in China.

Where there are opportunities, there will be challenges. To have 5G accepted globally is a challenge largely due to lack of standard specifications. Also, the cost of installation is significant. But that is a situation where the advantages are likely to outweigh the cost and disadvantages. 5G’s full potential would mean 100 percent network coverage and on a personal level, it will sustain the battery life of consumer mobile phones, hence resulting in less power consumption.

OEM Companies such as BMW, Audi, Volvo trucks, and Scania are already experimenting and testing the 5G technology, supported by telecom vendors such as Samsung, Qualcomm, Nokia Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, and Huawei Technologies whom have introduced products such as TAC-2020, etc.

At the end, it is safe to say 5G is a future that is fast approaching and will undoubtedly change the way we communicate. 2020s couldn’t come faster.


Sachi Mulmi is a researcher with Frost & Sullivan. She can be reached at sachi.mulmi@frost.com


Sapan Agarwal drives content and marketing for Frost & Sullivan. Sapan is based out of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and can be reached at sapan.agarwal@frost.com | +603 6204 5830

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