5G is a new telecommunication technology that allows cell phones and other smart devices to communicate with one another much more efficiently. It will replace the highly successful 4G LTE network, which provides millions of people around the world with access to high-speed internet. Not only will 5G networks bring faster internet speeds and clearer voice calls to customers, but the new technology will connect people in a much more sophisticated way, especially in rural and developing areas.
While major telecommunication companies are investing in 5G and doing their part to make a new service available, technology companies will be responsible for designing devices that are compatible
with the new networks. Samsung, Apple, LG, and other large technology companies will need to make sure that their smartphones and tablets support 5G. It will be essentially useless to build a 5G network if devices cannot utilize the new network.
Smart Devices Becoming a Reality
5G networks will lay the groundwork for smart devices to better “talk” with one another. 5G will support significantly higher bandwidth rates than 4G networks, which will make it possible for cars and other devices to communicate with one another, meaning that these technologies may become available within the next decade. Tesla, Ford and Google have already begun developing self-driving smart cars, and it is rumored that Apple is also developing its own smart car.
Connecting Residents in Rural and Developing Communities
4G LTE has significantly increased internet speed and has allowed millions of people to access smartphone technology. In 2015, Ethiopia launched its 4G network around the capital city of Addis Ababa, which provided high-speed cellular service to over 400,000 people. Nearly 650 million people have been connected to 4G in Africa, which has increased economic and educational opportunities.
Unfortunately, some rural communities and developing countries throughout Kenya, Sudan, and Ethiopia have been left out of 4G LTE. These areas are still relying on 2G and 3G networks, which are
significantly slower and much less reliable. The older cellular technologies also make it impossible for these communities to use new smart devices. Experts hope that 5G networks will be available to these communities and will allow access to new technologies.
Investments in rural and developing areas will also benefit businesses and global economies. The new technologies will help people gain access to new markets for buying products and services. 5G rollout will be particularly important in Kenya, as the country anticipates that greater access to the internet will help grow the economy and expand access to global markets. 5G can also help rural and developing areas grow businesses, further helping economies by connecting people to high speed internet.
Ericsson, a cellular provider that serves the Middle East and Africa expects its 5G network to be widely deployed in 2020 and 2021. Vodacom, the African-based section of Vodafone, began deploying 5G technology in August 2018. The South-African based cellular provider, Rain, announced Africa’s first commercial 5G network, which is being developed in partnership with Huawei.
Elsewhere, major telecommunication companies have already begun a 5G rollout in major cities. American cellular providers such as T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and AT&T have all pledged to bring
5G technology to New York City and Washington D.C, with significantly expanded access in the coming years. Other telecommunication companies such as Deutsche, Telekom and Orange are doing the same in Europe, and Rakuten in Japan as well. It is also possible that American companies may collaborate with African-based carriers in the future to best serve customers on both continents.
T-Mobile’s CEO, John Legere discussed 5G coverage in a recent blog:
“Let me be clear. These aren’t just words… they’re verifiable, enforceable and specific commitments that bring to life how the New T-Mobile will deliver a world-leading nationwide 5G network – truly 5G for all, create more competition in broadband, and continue to give customers more choices, better value and better service.”
5G is a revolutionary technology that will connect millions of people to smart technologies such as smartphones, self-driving cars and artificial intelligence devices. While the 5G rollout will not be completed until at least 2025, new technologies will emerge before then that will significantly change the ways in which we interact with the world. In essence, 5G networks will connect people, accelerate the adoption and access to high-speed networks, which will open up endless possibilities for millions of existing cellular customers.
– Kyle Arendas