At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) here until Thursday, several companies are showing the latest advances in 5G, the next generation after 4G that will allow for a fully connected world.
According to the mobile telecommunications sector, 5G will start rolling out by 2020, but the question is whether this is a realistic time frame and what the world will look like in 2020 thanks to 5G.
5G technology will enable faster connections with more devices connected to the network, such as Smartphones, cars or wearables. Thus, 5G has a crucial role to play when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT) whose development is linked to 5G development.
Sandeep Raina, from MYCOM OSI, told Xinhua "the basic advantage is that it will have very low latency ... as little as one millisecond."
Raina said 5G development is consumer driven "because they are using a lot of video for communicating, 50 percent of mobile data traffic is video based now, so it is going to grow even more than that because that is a trend that people are following."
According to Raina, 5G helps achieve those kinds of services. "The IoT will require very high reliability networks because you have particular apps such as health care, business, connected cars, you need very high reliable networks to make sure that these connections are 100 percent reliable."
Jonas Wiberg, from Ericsson, exemplified the need of 5G when talking about connected cars and the self-driving mode.
"Currently, you already have cars driving in the street autonomously. Those cars can only see what is in front of them with the sensors. But if you really want to have autonomous driving on a larger scale, the cars need to be connected and they need to be connected in a way that connection between the cars is really fast and it has also a very reliable network, so in that case we are talking about 5G," Wiberg said.
"5G will help running IoT applications securely and more reliably," Raina confirmed.
Asked if 5G would be market ready in 2020, Raina was optimistic: "From what we are hearing, yes, it is a realistic year."
Meanwhile, Tatsunori Obara, a researcher from Docomo, said, "it is hard to say, but this is our challenge."
The MWC was a four-day event during which some 2,100 companies presented their new devices and showed their new technologies.