As of early 2021, the vast majority of applications that 5G could bring are still hypothetical or in the early testing stage. These are, however, slowly starting to take shape. In Asia, surgeries with remote-controlled robots have been conducted from a distance of over 1,000 kilometres away – something which is only possible using the ultra-low latency capabilities 5G offers. Additionally, the 5G connection capabilities of many citizen IoT devices have been rolled out in some Asian countries. This has provided them with broadband that has the possibility of connecting vast numbers of devices. In Europe, so-called campus networks have been implemented in factories, which are being used for M2M communication and IoT applications – bringing with it considerable gains in production efficiency.
The expectations of policymakers for the further rollout are high, as studies suggest that 5G deployment could create millions of jobs and drive billions of growth in GDP. Benefits are expected in all kinds of areas – transportation (autonomous vehicles), emergency communications (separate channels), “Factories of the Future” (M2M & IoT), health care (ehealth), media (LTE Broadcast Multicast), Operation Support Systems/Business Support Systems (OSS/BSS Impact), and smart cities with smart homes (IoT and intelligent systems, e.g. power management).