Ray Sharma is founder and CEO of Extreme Venture Partners.
Imagine a wireless network so responsive, it reacts to commands you execute on your mobile device faster than the human ear and eye can process. 5G is already impressive with equipment operators predicting a 100 times speed increase over 4G and a 25,000 times improvement versus 3G, making it fast enough to download a movie in seconds.
Yet the truly stunning advance forward is the improvement to latency. With a potential latency of less than 1 millisecond (faster than your mind can process an image), the 5G wireless protocol will dramatically change the way our world works, and it’s availability is just around the corner.
In December 2017, I was invited to present at a Digital ThinkTank session with TELUS and CIO Association of Canada IT advisory board members in Toronto on the member-selected topic of 5G networks. As a passionate mobile enthusiast with close to 20 years of industry experience, I was excited to share my thoughts on this revolutionary wireless technology.
Let’s consider just some of the business opportunities and applications 5G is making possible:
Smart cities with hundreds of millions of sensors, connecting robotic vehicles/transit with the physical world
Surgeons conducting intricate operations, using instruments in real-time—on patients thousands of miles away
Video-intensive applications such as virtual reality conferencing creating personal and realistic experiences that replace travel and face-to-face meetings with inexpensive, meet-anytime capabilities
Factory machines capably self-diagnosing problems, downloading fixes and repairing themselves without stoppages or human intervention
Businesses in a massively scalable, low cost way using countless IoT devices to accurately measure temperatures and other conditions, requiring little power to transmit data and enabling device batteries to last for years
New 5G technology is expected to lead to the most profound changes the wireless industry has seen in years. Not only will network capabilities change, software (or applications) will have to change too. For example, a bank ATM will recognize a customer walking up to it. Before the customer enters a single keystroke, the ATM will know who the customer is and what they likely want to do, dramatically expediting every transaction. The implications of the change in latency are so significant that user interfaces, machine to machine interactions, and the on-boarding experience of software will need to be reimagined.
To maximize the value of this upcoming technology, consider the following for your organization:
How will 5G change your customer experience? Will your future products demand exponentially more data and lower latency?
How will 5G affect your quality of service? Can your network infrastructure support high density IoT applications and how do you ensure security?
How will 5G change the way your employees work? And what policies do you need to support them?
5G networks of the future promise to deliver Wireless-to-the-Premise (WTTx) connectivity with speeds and reliability necessary to power the smart homes and businesses of tomorrow. TELUS has been planning for this next generation of wireless innovation for some time. With 5G Living Labs, and test deployments in Vancouver and Edmonton, TELUS is already reaching scorching-fast speeds in live environments that are up to 200 times faster than current LTE networks. When TELUS rolls 5G out across Canada, it will be tested, proven and ready to deliver the speed, latency and possibilities business customers need.
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