A Future Like The Jetsons? The Impact That 5G Technology Will Have On People’s Daily Lives
The interconnection of electronic devices to the automation of industrial processes, apart from the further development of telemedicine and much more, are offered through the future of the fifth generation of mobile networks. Academics from the University of Chile César Azurdia and Alfonso Ehijo explain the scope of this new telecommunications infrastructure that can exceed the speed of its predecessor 4G by up to 100 times, and that will reach 90 percent of the population, a goal aimed at reducing the connectivity gaps that currently exist.
President Sebastián Piñera announced the official start of 5G technology in Chile, a network that currently has coverage in some areas of the Metropolitan Region and other parts of the country, but which will be extended from 2022 to much of the national territory. This objective is one of the conditions that the companies awarded the tender carried out by the Undersecretary of Telecommunications (Subtel) to supply the service must be fulfilled.
This measure seeks to reduce the connectivity gap in Chile, which aims to provide coverage to 90 percent of the population, including remote areas that currently do not have access to wireless telecommunication networks.
Academics from the University of Chile affirm that this process poses a true paradigm shift that will impact people’s daily lives through multiple applications and offers an opportunity to develop solutions and new businesses for the country.
Cesar Azurdia, professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering at the U. de Chile and researcher at the Espacio 5G Laboratory of the Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, the first of its kind in the country, explains that the technology will allow the speed to be increased between 10 and 100 times transmission currently offered by 4G.
On the other hand, he highlights that Chile, “at the level of Latin America, is one of the first countries to announce the official deployment of 5G. There are countries in Central America, for example, where the bands for the use of 5G have not even been tendered. In the region, Chile is one of the countries that has developed the issue the most, but compared to developed countries; it is lagging”, he points out.
Chile has been recognized as a pioneer in the region, being one of the first countries to implement experimental networks for this fifth generation of mobile network technologies, to tender and assign spectrum, and to put 5G networks into commercial operation, complements Alfonso Ehijo, professor expert of the FCFM of the U. de Chile and senior advisor in the Telecommunications Industry.
In this sense, he maintains that “for the country to become a regional development pole for 5G, there must be a synergistic articulation and constant and evolving collaboration between industry, academia and the State. This triple helix model will promote research, development and innovation in cutting-edge technologies by transferring advanced knowledge to an industry that already has world-class professionals.
Speed, Latency And Coverage
The big difference is that those who go from 4G to 5G will appreciate the speed improvement, adds Professor Azurdia. This first implementation stage under the Non-Stand Alone (NSA) standard will be observed mainly in data downloads.
In the future, when the system operates at total capacity, this will also be reflected in the upload and interconnection of devices. “The difference will be abysmal compared to the fourth generation. The second difference that users will see is a massive decrease in latency, the time it takes to process information.
The signal propagation times and delays will be minimal. Therefore, we are already talking about almost real-time communications.
Professor Ehijo highlights the commitment of the State and the substantial investment of the private world. For example, “In the 5G frequency band spectrum allocation contest, the operators invested USD 453 million: more than 6 times the equivalent of the sum of all the previous auctions for radio spectrum.”
However, it specifies that “5G commercial networks offered by national operators in 2022 will be in an adaptive phase since the underlying technology corresponds to an adaptation of 4G networks to the new 5G radio stations: Non-Stand Alone (NSA)”, infrastructure that offers a fast and much cheaper deployment of 5G in the territory, but that does not yet have Core 5G in the network and, therefore, does not offer all the known benefits of 5G Stand Alone (SA),
Regarding the network installation process, César Azurdia indicates that today “The initial infrastructure does not have coverage in all regions, it is centralized mainly in some parts of the Metropolitan Region. However, it is expected that next year it will begin to spread to the rest of the country”.
At this point, Alfonso Ehijo points out that “The expected implementation time of this new technology is a maximum of 3 years, being awarded at the beginning of this year to the operators Entel, WOM and Movistar, who plan to carry out a more aggressive deployment in the 5G service terms. In the case of the latter operator, it projects the presence of 5G services in the 16 regions of the country by March 2022”, he explains.
“Its extension is limited, moreover, because the number of 5G phones at the moment is limited and they are quite expensive equipment,” says César Azurdia, so the deployment of the network is also associated with a progressive increase in the availability of equipment. compatible mobiles.
“Furthermore, Apple plans to release its new iPhones with 5G compatible chipsets only in 2023, and a carrier-bundle software update for iOS (iPhone 12 and later) is expected to arrive in the first months of 2022. On which the compatibility of Apple devices with 5G will depend. In the case of devices with the Android operating system, the 5G service is already available for a limited list of terminals.
The “Internet Of Things”
One of the most notorious impacts expected in the future with 5G will be the rise of the “Internet of Things”, a reality that many compare with the way of life that was observed in the “Jetsons”, a futuristic cartoon series produced in the ’60s and ’80s. “What is coming is very new. When we talked about cell phones, we thought of communication between people.
But now communication will no longer be only between people. We will have communication between people and devices or between machines and machines, vehicles to machines, vehicles to people, and that is what the term “Internet of Things” introduces us to, where not only humans are connected through cell phones, but any device that has wireless connectivity is going to be connected to the network”,
Once the current NSA implementations evolve to their SA version, “5G will be able to count on low end-to-end delay and massiveness in the number of interconnected devices, promoting the Internet of Things with great massiveness,” says Professor Ehijo. This will have a decisive impact on “how the intelligence of cities and people’s quality of life evolve.
We will count on distributed intelligence in many devices that measure and act on the different facets of a city that is becoming more and more interactive. For example, for the optimization of public and private transport, which in the future includes communication between vehicles, between each vehicle and road infrastructure, and intelligent public lighting. Another example is the impact of 5G for the security of citizens
Professor Azurdia adds that the number of devices that in the future will be connected to the Internet through a 5G chip will be gigantic, something that was not possible with the third and fourth generations of this technology. “That is going to change the way we live entirely.
The possibility of having smart refrigerators illustrates a straightforward example. The Internet of Things can detect the absence of any product that we consume and automatically informs us. That already happens in Japan and Korea, where even the refrigerator automatically makes a purchase online, “he says.
In health, telemedicine will be enhanced. “Surgical operations assisted by remote-controlled robots are already an experimental reality that will soon become widespread, to which remote imaging examination devices will be added for rapid diagnosis, regardless of distances,” says Alfonso Ehijo.
He also points out that 5G will allow solving the current communication problems in the context of large agglomerations, for example, in airports, concerts, and sports stadiums.
Meanwhile, in the video game industry, it will acquire a fundamental role. “A recent example in the UK is the new online gaming service that incorporates hologram projections of participants in real-time. Considering the high bandwidth and low delay required for this service, 5G is presented as an enabling technology that responds to the needs of this industry,” warns Professor Ehijo.
Another example is the integration of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in Social Networks, “particularly in the Facebook platform that evolves into Metaverse, characterized by incorporating Oculus VR virtual reality glasses, which offer an immersive and revolutionary experience for the user, also requiring great bandwidths and low delay,” he adds.