5G-Drivers for the Technology

Similar question to 5 years ago - why is 4G not good enough. What are the applications that need more speed and capacity than 5G can deliver. Below are 5 applications that require 5G technology.

  1. Video / TV Initially a simple demand, let's have high definition TV rather than standard TV and while we are there ensure that a feature film, in high definition, can be downloaded in a short time for off-line viewing. Significantly a fast network such as 5G can have other advantages. Current delivery mechanisms such as Satellite and OTA will just not deliver the video or TV fast enough. So it is likely that much of this video or TV demand will move to online and mobile. This can also feed different subscription models, such as the Netflix model, or paying for prime viewing as Sky supports. In fact, an intelligent advert driven model will be more adaptive to the user than the current model. Another feature of 5G is the move of services away from the core, so suppliers could stream a single copy of live TV or cache a video nearer to the user thus freeing up the network.
  2. Autonomous cars To provide autonomous cars in city centres a lot of data has to be moved fast without lag, which is promised in 5G. Even if the top aim of driverless cars cannot be achieved soon, more autonomous actions will be built into cars and other vehicles. The demand for autonomous cars has different demands from other uses of the network. 5G has the facility to provide a virtual network that has the facilities required from this specialist application.
  3. IoT, Connected Homes and Smart Cities. There are many devices on the market that will add some smartness to the home, including remote heating control and security. Many of these devices work by themselves and there are few systems that link this all together to produce a totally connected home. 5G will allow totally connected home including devices that are only just coming on the market, smart white goods is an example. The net stage is to link all this together for localities and then cities creating Smart Cities. To achieve this a large re-design of smart systems are needed supported by a fast mobile network.
  4. Remote Healthcare The current healthcare model requires the patient to travel a distance to physically go to the hospital or GP; sit in a waiting room and have a brief consultation with the health worker. A system that has not changed for 30+ years. In many cases there is no real requirement a physical encounter and many GP consultations or Hospital visits can be achieved over the network. So a GP consultation can be achieved in a car parked in a layby. These are small steps that require a fast network. But remote surgery, remote recovery are all possibilities requiring fast dedicated and secure communication channels that 5G can supply.
  5. Improved Broadband Most of the UK is connected to the Internet via copper wires, FTTC, with a limit of around 76Mbps. To make a major change to this via fixed wire will require FTTH, and a large investment involving putting fibre in roads or pavements to all UK households. A different solution, envisioned by THREE, is to use the 5G network to provide the communications from the household to the exchange. A speed of 1Gbps is likely with 5G a figure similar to FTTH will be able to deliver and at a fraction of the cost.