From security considerations and regulation to its use in remote work and even the metaverse, here’s what experts think will be brewing in the 5G space this year.
As the fifth generation of telecommunication data, 5G has for a long time promised to revolutionise the way we connect with each other at unprecedented speeds and with great efficiency.
But as we head further into 2023, experts in the IT space have many predictions regarding the developing technology. These range from recommending caution around its security to anticipating its growing use in remote work and even the metaverse.
Here are a few trends that businesses and consumers alike should be aware of when it comes to 5G technology.
As countries increase their investments in 5G-based smart city projects to remain competitive in a global economy, some experts believe this will present significant security risks and warrant attention from cybersecurity professionals.
Simon Chassar, chief revenue officer at cybersecurity company Claroty, thinks that we are going to see the emergence of “5G IoT [internet of things] with their own connectivity and communication fabric” at the end of 2023. The IoT is a collective network of connected devices and the technology that facilitates communication between said devices and the cloud, as well as between the devices themselves.
“This will present new challenges to organisations as these connected edge points will need their own version of security and monitoring tools,” Chassar said.
The opening up of more access points that hackers can compromise is a particularly important challenge for 5G this year. NordVPN’s chief technology officer Marijus Briedis believes that we should expect hackers to find fresh ways to exploit new technologies such as 5G.
“Even though 5G will provide users with a faster internet connection, it will also require significant attention to be paid to the new infrastructure, opening more access points for hackers to compromise,” Briedis said.
“And with the global shortage of cybersecurity experts, it will be increasingly difficult to prevent that.”
Whenever a relatively new technology begins to become increasingly prevalent, there comes a need for governments to regulate it. 5G is no exception to this trend, as some experts believe governments across the world will publish requirements to guarantee the security of 5G tech.
Alejandro Sola, an associate at international law firm Bird & Bird, gives the example of Spain, where new regulations regarding 5G technology published last year establish security requirements for its installation, deployment and operation.
As part of this piece of regulation, Sola said Spain is expected to adopt a national security scheme aimed at carrying out a comprehensive and global treatment of the security of 5G networks and services.
“These measures may include requiring prior certification for the use of equipment, software or services by a 5G operator, provider or corporate user,” said Sola.
“[They may also include] diversification targets in 5G networks and services supply chain and measures to mitigate or manage the risks arising from terminal equipment and connected devices.”
5G and remote work
The emergence of widespread 5G technology comes at a convenient time, as companies and organisations across the world are encouraging remote and hybrid work. Flexible work patterns need greater network speed for a disparate workforce to be connected to each other seamlessly.
Rusty King, chief technology officer of the European division of IT company Thrive, said the need for flexible working patterns coincides with 5G capability becoming more readily available, allowing workers to “operate more efficiently in a wider number of locations”.
King continued by saying that “this may also have a side effect (linked with AI) of increasing user performance monitoring tools to understand where any detrimental performance occurs given the wide spread of media consumption that will be involved, many of which may be outside of corporate remit”.
5G, the metaverse and edge computing
Another interesting area where experts believe 5G will play a key role is in the development of the metaverse – an application that requires an ultra-dense, low-latency computing network.
According to US-based data centre equipment provider Vertiv, this year will see the marriage of 5G and the metaverse to offer speeds to match the demands of a highly sophisticated technology.
Vertiv predicts that we’ll see these two activities intersect in 2023, with metaverse implementations leveraging 5G networks to enable the ultra-low latency features that the application demands.
“Ultimately, this will require higher-powered computing in those 5G edge locations, and we’ll see that happening soon – with early forays in 2023 followed by more widespread deployments in the years after,” the firm said.
“As the edge of the network becomes more sophisticated, so will the infrastructure needed to support it.”
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