5G technology has started to reshape the existing tech ecosystem. Emerging technologies in the tech ecosystem are maturing alongside the development of the fifth generation of mobile networks, as 5G will provide a common environment for such innovations. Some examples of these are autonomous vehicles, smart cities and wearable computers.
In particular, the potential of 5G for future AI and IoT fusion is immense. 5G serves as the missing connecting element to bring these technologies to new levels. It would enable intelligent connectivity and potentially fulfil the promise of a real-time economy. 5G’s ultra-fast and ultra-low latency connectivity enable IoT’s big-data collection and real-time AI decision-making capabilities – resulting in new transformational capabilities across all industries and sectors. With 5G as a backbone, IoT devices will become integral to healthcare, transportation and logistics, as well as contributing towards lowering costs in factories. 5G might also become an integral part of smart grids through energy and network optimisation.
Mega-sectors such as the telecom and energy industries might even merge as a result. Imagine this – in the same way that your ISP (Internet Service Provider) has also become your mobile telephone and TV provider, it may become your electricity company in the future as well. 5G will also support the spread of internet access to rural areas, as it is cheaper and faster than a cable-based infrastructure. The broadband connectivity gap between rural and urban areas became particularly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, as rural areas lacked affordable and reliable broadband connectivity for remote education and work-from-home needs.
However, the resulting “tsunami” of data coming from many sources like the IoT, as well as the increased complexity of networks, make these systems more prone to security threats. Another threat to security is the lack of common standards, in particular for those that are closed-sourced. Security threats and exploits are key concerns of businesses and present serious hurdles to realising the 5G tech ecosystem.