Fancy a peek at 5G? Keep an eye on the Winter Olympics

11 Feb 2016

A new report into the effect 5G will have on the IT industry claims it will be a technological revolution if it is given the support it needs to survive, with the 2018 Winter Olympics in Seoul something to keep an eye on.

Research company 451 has claimed the uptake and evolution of 5G will be driven from Asia, which has the biggest appetite for the next generation of internet.

That is why the Seoul Winter Olympics (and the 2020 Summer Olympics) will be worth watching for high-profile demonstrations of capability.

Claiming 5G’s key attraction will go beyond speed – with energy efficiency to the fore – a wave of innovation “to make information and computing power instantaneously available” is in the offing.

Causing a “catalytic effect” on the whole IT industry, those behind the study go so far as insisting companies should already be prepping for a 5G future. Help, though, may not necessarily come from the top.

Warning that 5G “will not mean universal coverage for many years”, governmental supports – like during the introduction of 3G – would help, but can’t be relied upon.

Regulations must evolve

“Regulations need to evolve with the market and industry,” reads the report, which calls for market-led regulatory frameworks around the world.

Noting the “extremely ambitious” plans for 5G, the expected benefits on the back of a coordinated development procedure will create a “fundamental change” to how we all operate.

Key areas where specific innovation is needed include mobile technology, real-time analytics, edge-of-network data centres and new applications and services such as semi-autonomous vehicles, augmented reality and IoT.

Claiming 5G will drive “edge-of-network investment”, 451 writes that the need for far more smaller data centres will come on the back of a general requirement for low-latency services and the need to support local applications.

“IT players need to think about IoT now and 5G soon,” said Ken Rehbehn, principal analyst of mobile telecom, at 451 Research.

“Whether it is real-time analytics, data centre design, location-based web services, or social networks and digital currencies, 5G will affect demand patterns as early as 2018.”

Winter Olympics image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic