As we’ve highlighted elsewhere, the growth and widespread availability of 5G connectivity will be at the heart of much disruptive innovation over the next five to ten years. 5G connections will provide ultra-fast, low-latency internet connectivity that will enable the next generation of devices.
5G connectivity will provide traffic capacity, speeds, and stability that are exponentially better than existing 3G and 4G networks. A recent Ericsson Mobility report predicted that there will be 1 billion 5G subscriptions by 2023, making up nearly 20% of all global mobile data traffic. Those figures will only grow as 5G becomes more widespread globally.
We have to think of 5G as the nexus that will connect a number of disruptive innovators, including cloud computing, big data, the automotive industry, and E-gaming.
The rise of 5G and the cloud
Current applications of cloud computing have both corporate and consumer uses. What 5G offers for the future of cloud computing is a dramatic increase in efficiency and an explosion of potential applications across industries as diverse as healthcare, banking, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
5G technology will enable innovation and disruption in the cloud space because most technological innovations can be more efficient when cloud-dependent. With its low to zero latency, 5G promises to improve integration between devices and applications and the cloud, making for smoother communications.
With the widespread rollout of 5G connectivity, cloud-based products and services will become more reliable, faster, and efficient. Expect these innovations to spur greater investment in cloud businesses.
Data – the most precious commodity
Big Data—that deals with vast data sets to mine for patterns of behaviour—will be one of the primary beneficiaries of 5G technology. The speed and low latency of 5G will allow Big Data to make connections far faster and, when coupled with the cloud, will increase the collection and storage of more data under more diverse circumstances.
Consider, as one example, the growing prevalence of IoT (Internet of Things) devices in our daily lives. From smartphones, to personal fitness trackers, to smart refrigerators, the global IoT market in 2019 was valued at $690 billion. By 2025, it is estimated that the IoT market will grow to approximately $1.3 trillion. Each of these devices generate a data stream that is of value to Big Data applications. With the advent of 5G, current speed and latency limitations that restrict IoT devices to using their own processors and internal memory will be a thing of the past. With 5G, much of the computing necessary for IoT can happen in the cloud, making IoT devices cheaper and more widespread, empowering Big Data in an unprecedented fashion.
Likewise, 5G will finally make the promise of ‘smart cities’ a reality. An intersection of 5G, IoT, and Big Data, the smart city concept turns our cities into networks, using huge quantities of data to bring about significant change and improvement to daily life. A truly smart city holds the promise of everything from automatically regulated traffic flows to improved emergency response, all thanks to the speed and connectivity offered by 5G.
Cloud computing and autonomous driving
A significant application of cloud computing and 5G will be in developing autonomous and self-driving cars.
As is easy to imagine, in-car sensors and other embedded smart devices present in autonomous vehicles generate a tremendous amount of data as they operate. Cloud platforms can process this telemetry to enhance the efficiency, safety and security of self-driving vehicles.
Through cloud computing, self-driving cars will communicate with one another and a city’s central traffic control center to produce accurate maps of real-time traffic conditions. This kind of street-level intelligence promises to help passengers arrive at their destinations faster and make streets safer overall, with automobiles relying on positioning and navigation technologies connected to the cloud to avoid both congestion and collision.
Over-the-air software updates and maintenance checks will be carried out remotely via the cloud, as manufacturers like Tesla are already pioneering. They will alert owners when a trip to a physical showroom or garage is absolutely necessary for upgrades.
Autonomous vehicles will need low latency instant access to the cloud to accomplish all this—yet another way 5G connectivity will connect disruptive innovators and facilitate disruptive innovation.
Cloud and eSports
As the 2020 boom in gaming showed us, gaming is big business. With the arrival of 5G, the possibilities are massive for eSports to maximize the power of cloud computing for this segment of the entertainment industry.
One of the chief opportunities for gaming companies and service providers is in new subscription-based revenue streams made possible by cloud computing and 5G speeds. The potential will soon exist for entirely cloud-based gaming platforms. For gamers, these virtual gaming consoles will mean having a library of hundreds of games they can access and play from any device, anytime, anywhere, all hosted in the cloud.
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