5G technology is the fifth generation of networks for mobile communications, but does not simply mean a substantial increase in the speed with which we communicate or download content from the Internet. Although initially it will be the most appreciated and most demanded functionality (downloading a song will take just a few seconds and a high quality movie will take a few minutes), 5G will bring us a series of features that will allow the development of new applications that were unthinkable until now with today's mobile communications.
The 5G standard contributes directly to the digital transformation of society and industry. They two realities are indivisible, since 5G is linked to new services that society demands and to new production models.
The 5G mobile communications standard offers us certain key advantages:
- Speed (up to 10 Gbps, much higher than 4G)
- Greater capacity to interconnect devices (up to 1 million per km2.
- Low latency, response time of applications (up to 1 ms)
The main functionalities what 5G technology will bring can be summarised as:
- Enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB). This will reach speeds of up to 10 Gbps, allowing ultra-fast content download, very high quality video streaming or letting mobile devices be connected permanently to the network.
- Ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC). Network latency, or the time it takes to respond to a request, will be very low, aiming to reach 1ms latency rates. Additionally, communications will have a high guarantee of availability.
- Massive machine type communication (mMTC). The roll-out of 5G networks will respond to a significant increase in communications between people, but this technology will be decisive in communications between devices (sensors, computers, robots ...) since densities of up to 1 million connected devices per square kilometre are expected.
IMPACT OF 5G ON SOCIETY
UBIQUITOUS CONNECTIVITY AND DATA CONSUMPTION
In a society oriented to sharing experiences online and massive data consumption, 5G applied in networks of small antennas guarantees mobile connectivity in high footfall areas such as stadiums, shopping centres, theatres and hospitals. Areas that have traditionally lacked connectivity, such as motorway tunnels or underground and surface rail networks and underground car parks will offer users unrestricted mobile data coverage whilst also promoting new related services like carsharing.
SERVICES AND APPLICATIONS FOR THE CITIZEN
Densification of networks of communications with 5G in the city, with micro antennas located in urban fixtures, offers citizens the possibility to access content, applications and value-added services with minimal latency. The arrival of 5G will herald a significant improvement in applications related to consumption of goods and services, leisure, tourism and relations with the various levels of administration.
BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
5G will make it possible to expand high-speed broadband coverage in rural and isolated areas, helping to revitalise the agricultural sector and local industry and making applications and services available to the general public.
GOODS TRANSPORT AND TRACKING
The application of 5G to the logistics sector will allow companies to geolocate and monitor all their assets in real time in a warehouse or factory, as well as during shipment or along different routes, fostering online commerce and improving the experience of logistics operators and the end customer.
APPLICATIONS AIMED AT SAFETY
The minimum latency (response time) that 5G allows is decisive for the development of safety-related services. The capacity of the network will serve to detect fires hundreds of kilometres away and monitor them at all times using drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras and very precise geolocation systems. With the application of artificial intelligence, we will be able to foresee any type of incident, anticipate it and resolve it before it even occurs.
THE MOBILITY OF THE FUTURE WILL BE 5G
Current mobility is strongly linked to sustainability and environmental conservation. In this area, the advantages offered by 5G communications are crucial. Vehicles permanently connected to their surroundings (road, traffic lights, other vehicles) leads to safer and more efficient mobility. This will be made possible —among other things— thanks to the low latency guaranteed by 5G, reducing to practically zero the response time to things like a possible collision. The development of self-sustaining communications networks in the road system is key to the development of mobility.
With 5G technology we will see the roll-out of private communications networks dedicated specifically to each segment or activity. Industries will benefit from secure and guaranteed communications and will improve their performance, by adding to these communications elements such as artificial intelligence and the development of robotic processes.