2019 will be a year of significant transformation with the invasion of 5G in Australia. As per the prediction of Qualcomm, the 5G rollout will create $12.3 trillion in new wealth by 2035. And those trillions have Silicon Valley pioneers and global governments fizzing with excitement.
China has already spent $24 billion on 5G infrastructure to-date, and it is likely that they will spend $411 billion more over the next decade. It is further expected that the investment in 5G tech deployment will be around $326 billion by 2025 only in the United States, as per the prediction of technology analysts. Moreover, in November 2018, Intel announced plans to monopolise a $24 billion 5G niche.
The 5G network is set to be up to 800-times faster than standard NBN speeds and 100% wireless. As per the MIT Technology Review, 5G is the commencement of ‘the next technological revolution’.
For the high-speed 5G network to run smoothly, it requires all new infrastructure from the ground up. Portions of the 5G network will use smaller specialised transmitters placed a few hundred metres apart.
The introduction of 5G will enable several activities, which were not possible previously. It includes a fully immersive, real-time walkthrough of any house on realestate.com even being miles away, a huge speed of downloading, 5G makes the technology of self-driving cars safe and accessible to everyone. Moreover, long-distance telesurgery is possible with advanced 5G technology and road-repairing drones.
On the technical front, the typical latency period for the 4G network is 60 milliseconds, whereas the new 5G networks, on the other hand, will decrease latency to as low as one millisecond. Lower latency means higher efficiency and lower buffering, which is very significant for technologies of self-driving cars, or surgeries performed from a long distance, which could be life-threatening without this enhanced technology. This is exactly why 5G is so fundamentally vital to the future of technology in Australia and around the globe.
Companies building out 5G infrastructure are something to watch out for. Global spending on 4G wireless infrastructure surged from 2011 and peaked in 2015. The spending on the new wireless Internet standard has only just begun to ramp up. But it won’t be long before that trickle turns into a fire hose. Governments are spending hugely on 5G infrastructures with telecommunication and tech giants like Ericsson, Nokia, modem manufacturer Qualcomm, and Apple are investing huge sums into the 5G architecture.
Two companies involved in the 5G network initially in Australia are Vocus Group Limited (ASX: VOC) Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX: TLS). In order to support a 5G enabled and the cloud-connected world, the fibre infrastructure assets are very significant. Vocus Group focuses on its objective of doubling its revenue in Vocus networks services (EGW) by 2023, and it is a belief of the management that the core growth opportunity lies in Vocus networks.
On the other hand, Telstra is the largest telecommunication company with a market capitalisation of ~A$38.89 billion. The company being the leader of telecommunications in Australia has been developing its 5G capabilities and is leading the way in the 5G era. It has worked closely with the key technology partners like Ericsson and Qualcomm and has become more efficient in taking advantage. The world-first 5G trial data call over mmwave using production core network has been established in 2017 by the company. In early 2018, it launched its 5G innovation centre, delivering the world’s first 5G-enabled Wi-Fi hotspots, Australia’s first 5G connected automobile and an end-to-end standalone data call on a commercial network.
Moreover, the company rolled out 5G-enabled mobile stations in Canberra, Adelaide and Perth and it also organised Australia’s first 5G video call in December 2018. In January 2019, the company entered into partnerships to deliver Telstra customers exclusive access to 5G commercial smartphones.
5G is the base that looks set to support every tech innovation of the future. Moreover, it will impact many of the sectors through its cascading effects. Few sectors are telecommunication, television and broadcasting, automobile, etc. It is going to be a face changing technology throughout the globe.
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