The arrival of 5G opens up a serie of unlimited possibilities, but also a several risks and fees to be paid that we will have to accept in order to reach the next technological level.
The fifth generation of mobile network represents a disruptive advance similar to the invention of the PC in the world of informatic or the appearance of the Smartphone in the conception of the mobile phone. The main objectives of this new network are the achievement of high speed (up to 1.2 GB per second) with low power and latency. These objectives will allow important developments in IoT, robotics and virtual reality. Currently, we are living the application of the first standardized version by a few operators, but it is expected that 5G use will become widespread as of 2020.
The possibilities are unlimited and many of them are hardly imaginable for the regular people. This technology will be implemented in countless devices beyond mobile phones, developing three aspects that are currently beginning to be present in our lives, but will be more widespread: Internet of Things, robotics and Virtual Reality.
The 5G will allow interconnection and operation from remote of numerous technological devices. Currently, we can control any device located in our house from our Smartphone, being able to regulate the temperature and humidity of our house, our food supplies or controlling the route of our Roomba to fix any carelessness we have had. But this is only the beginning. The development of Artificial Intelligence, mixed with this hyperconnectivity, will allow these devices have the necessary autonomy to not need human intervention. Once trusting some patterns based on our tastes and desires robots will be capable of thinking and solving problems for themselves. Linked to this development, cars will no longer be driven by humans to become autonomous, reducing the margin of error and limiting the consequences of what is known as “human error.” And cars are just the beginning. This evolution will be continuing through the rest of the means of transport, financial operations, medical interventions and endless possibilities that we now only see the tip of the iceberg.
5G will also open a door beyond our reality; allowing the creation of a simulated reality, where there will be unlimited possibilities that will not depend on time, place or our physical capabilities. We can watch live sports or musical shows live from the best locations, play a video game in first person or simply interact with people from any part of the world in simulated environments without leaving our living room. The big tech brands are already starting to realize these possibilities. Facebook has just presented Horizon, its virtual reality universe whose possibilities we are still only imagining.
Right now, it is clear that 5G will involve a series of socioeconomic changes that will affect our way of understanding life. But, as expected, these changes also show a dark side that should not be overlooked. The hyperconnectivity of all technological elements will make us vulnerable to possible hacking or espionage by governments (the geopolitical war between China and the US shows the great interest of the great powers in controlling the application within their own borders and the threat posed by the coexistence of the big operators). In turn, the facilitators of this 5G technology (both large telecommunications companies and IoT developers), will have access to everyday aspects of our life so far hardly quantifiable, such as: our consumption, personal interactions or our way of behaving. Examples such as Cambridge Analytica make us skeptical of relying on the goodwill of the big tech giants especially considering its consequences in the global market.
Ultimately, 5G represents a new opportunity to reinvent society and the way to live it. The question is, will we be able to not spoil it again?