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5G – the fifth generation of wireless technology is coming

Jason Proctor from CBC news in Canada summarises the 5G narrative quite well.

Click here for video 

The Technology Generations 

The first generation — 1G — was introduced in the 1980s with wireless phones that had almost no ability to transmit data.

The next generation occurred a decade later with better sound quality, security and capacity. Email and text became widespread.

3G brought global roaming and higher-speed transmission, allowing for more widespread connectivity and movement with devices.

4G allowed phone users to surf the internet, stream music, access social media, post videos and use a wide variety of apps on smartphones.

5G “will be a game changer in wireless telecommunications, ushering in a network for future generations with more devices, faster communication, and higher speeds.”

Current 4G mobile networks can offer speeds of about 45Mbps (megabits per second) on average and experts say 5G could achieve browsing and downloads up to 20 times faster.

Connectivity – Internet of Things 

It is estimated that by 2020 between 50 billion and 100 billion devices worldwide are expected to be connected to the internet with the ability to communicate seamlessly with no latency. (Lag between sending and receiving).

5G will have enough bandwidth to revolutionise entertainment, health care and education – it will enable the “Internet of Things” , Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality.

Uses will include self-driving cars, remote-controlled thermostats and drones — connected to the internet.

Our devices will be able to communicate directly with each other, essentially cutting humans out of the equation.

What does 5G mean to Canada 

The Accenture report  estimates that Canada’s wireless operators are expected to invest $26 billion deploying 5G infrastructure between 2020 and 2026, having  already spent about $17.6 billion in spectrum auctions.

Accenture claims the payoff in that same time will be a lift of about $40 billion a year to Canada’s gross domestic product as well as the creation of 250,000 permanent jobs.

Some of the Benefits to the economy

Farmers will use sensors for soil, crops and livestock maintenance.  “Smart irrigation” alone is expected to save blueberry farmers $270 million a year.

The Oil industry will use sensors that allow for “predictive maintenance”

All industries will benefit from a reduction in unplanned downtime and reduction in the risk of catastrophic disasters associated with equipment or facilities failures from human error. 

The 3 players 

Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei are the leading firms in the field.

Whose banning Huawei and whose not

The possibility of a Chinese company having access to the core of Western telecommunications systems has raised concerns – resulting in USA  excluding Huawei from contracts with the American government or its contractors.

The Australian government has also banned the company from its 5G networks.

The United Kingdom has banned Huawei from core parts of the British communications network, 

Dutch telecom giant Royal KPN NV has said it will use a Western supplier to build the core 5G mobile network.

Germany, Poland most Asian Countries and the 3rd world have refused to follow suit.

Huawei maintains its independence from the Chinese state.

What’s the Issue?

Will the organisation that provides the underlying technology  “control the infrastructure of that network? “

Do the manufacturers and builders have this control or the telecommunication companies who manage the networks? 

5G is coming regardless.

Huawei has the technology and the IP and will control a good number of these networks. By definition, the United States is going to have to connect into those networks because you can’t have a global communications system where American or European equipment doesn’t talk to Chinese equipment. 

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ABOUT Jason Proctor 


Jason Proctor is a reporter in British Columbia for CBC News and has covered the B.C. courts and mental health issues in the justice system extensively.

Posted on May 14, 2019

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