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Why 5G Adoption has been so Slow

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Jenna Delport
Jenna Delport
I’m a tech writer, world traveller, avocado-eater and dog lover, not always in that order.

If you have been waiting for 5G super-connectivity to roll out overnight and instantly change your life, you might be in for a surprise. It took nearly 10 years for 4G to become the dominant technology in cellular connectivity and those in the know, believe that it might even take longer for 5G to settle in nicely.

Nevertheless, there are a few wonderful changes to look forward to as we slowly but surely move into the fourth industrial revolution.

“First you have to understand that in theory 5G can support millisecond latencies,” explains Christopher Riley, CEO of the notebook company. “This means that we are not far from fully autonomous driverless cars, telesurgery – where your surgeon might be thousands of miles away, which has been tested over 5G with great success – and Virtual Reality (VR) telepresence apps that will support side by side work environments that are literally oceans apart.”

The VR possibilities are particularly exciting. Apart from joint VR work environments, being able to watch sporting events in real-time will be a real stunner and some believe that online shopping will never be the same again.

Imagine visiting a mall in Tokyo during your lunch break with your VR goggles, viewing all the goodies in real-world scenarios and ordering on the spot. This would be a far cry from the 2D images on shopping sites as we know it.

“Many believe that 5G’s greatest impact will be commercial and industrial IoT,” says Riley. Here we are talking precision tracking, shipping and delivery of millions, maybe even billions, of objects. Or precision agriculture, including smart watering, identifying crop disease before it strikes and using soil sensors to grow the perfect harvest. Very soon we will also see smart factories where robots can do many repetitive and dangerous jobs – around the 24hour clock.

But with great power, comes great responsibility. “Although communications service providers (CSPs) have a once in a lifetime opportunity to tap into this brand-new market, they must have sleepless nights about cybersecurity,” says Riley.

We can just imagine what havoc hacking into autonomous vehicles, smart homes and even smart cities will cause. According to VMware’s CEO, an estimated 26 billion IoT devices will be connected globally in the next few years. “That is an awfully big attack surface,” says Riley.

Edited by Jenna Delport
Follow Jenna Delport on Twitter

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