It’s Not the Technologies, It’s What You Can Do With Them
While terms and acronyms such as NFV, eMBB, NB-IoT and URLLC make perfect sense to most of the technology community, the consumers and business customers who stand to benefit from these new technologies can be baffled, or even daunted, by such terminology. This is understandable: One did not need to understand how electro-magnetic transmitters and receivers work before making a phone call, or how a strip of carbonized bamboo could glow by carrying an electric current, before switching on the light. At that time, the benefits of light bulbs and telephones were easy to understand.
Fast forward to the 5G era. Companies like Ericsson and their partners have rolled out 5G networks and services in Asia and North America, with more to follow very soon. Meanwhile, the benefits of virtualization, fixed wireless access, or ultra-low latency, fascinating they are, look harder to grasp by those outside of the telecoms world. In a recent industry survey conducted by Telecoms.com, when asked if 5G benefits have been effectively communicated to business customers, well over half of the telecom professionals said “No”. When they were asked if the benefits have been effectively communicated to the consumers, even more said “No”.
But it does not have to be so. Instead of focusing on the technology properties of 5G, the telecom companies need to be better at showing the consumers and customers what they can get out of the technologies in real life. This is exactly why Ericsson, joining forces with thought-leaders from the technology world leading figures from outside the industry, has launched the biggest brand campaign in the company’s history to celebrate connectivity and, with a series of concrete cases, to highlight the boundless innovations it can spark.
Immersive video games:
When playing a video game, what gamers care about most is smooth play and the visual reality. 5G’s high bandwidth will not only render the visual in higher definition, more resembling real life, but also be able to add haptic feel through the haptic gloves on top of virtual reality through the goggles, giving the gamers an extra dimension of reality. This “multi-modal mixed reality,” with ultra-low latency, is made possible by moving the heavy computing to the cloud, which will communicate in real-time with the head-mounted device. The wireless nature of 5G will also remove the cable attached to the gears in current VR games. In the YouTuber and gamer AtomicMari’s (Mari Takahashi) words, this will be a gamer’s dream come true.
Driverless cars will be truly life-changing for people like Haben Girma, the disability rights advocate who has been honoured as the White House “Champion for Change”, and the first deafblind graduate from Harvard Law School. The range of her mobility will be indefinitely improved without compromising her independence. This will be enabled by end-to-end 5G networks. With Internet access to the car, which delivers large volumes of real-time data gathered from the sensors on the car to cloud platforms, end-to-end security is delivered with ultra-low latency. But a car will not only communicate with the cloud but also with other cars on the road -- for example, an emergency can be sent to other cars within a large radius.
Elite sports have come to the stage where winning and not winning are determined by minute details. For a footballer like Paris Saint-Germain’s Nadia Nadim, in order to score her dream goal, data from her daily training can be gathered by the sensors she wears, which can be analysed and immediately used to improve her training. This can be done with massive IoT enabled by 5G, with built-in security mechanism to guard data privacy, and automatically detect any anomaly.
Live event experience:
It will feel so much different and so much better if, instead of watching live events on a two-dimensional television screen, the audience can be remotely immersed in the visual and audio panorama experience. This can be delivered by 5G’s network slicing technology to provide the right level of capacity in a confined environment with extremely high bandwidth demand. As it is impractical to set up large numbers of basestations in the stadia or theaters, innovative solutions like the discreet “radio stripes” can be deployed to provide the coverage and capacity. When the event is over this slice of the network can be easily switched off.
A house owner would not mind much how their house is connected to the Internet, so long as it is connected. In a case when the house is not lucky enough to be on a fiber or cable or even copper wire network, the most viable solution is fixed wireless access. The user need not be an expert to install the customer premise equipment. More importantly, 5G is making such equipment much more powerful and intelligent. Technologies like directional antenna, beamforming, and multi-user MIMO are not only connecting the houses, but connecting them more efficiently.
When a user is waiting for a shipment, their concern is to get the parcel in a timely manner. When a logistics company is fulfilling a delivery task, its concern is to get the parcel from the supplier and send it onward to the recipient in the most efficient way. 5G, especially massive IoT, can help both the logistics companies and end users. This is driven by global connectivity down to vehicle, container, and parcel levels, embedded computing and sensors; and artificial intelligence. By optimizing the delivery efficiency through real-time data analytics, connected logistics is also supporting the industry to minimize its environmental footprints.
All these use cases, and many more, will not be possible without the latest technologies. But the users, either consumers or businesses, do not need to understand these technologies before they can enjoy the benefits. With the current brand campaign, Ericsson, which for many years has been a key player in the development and deployment of 5G technologies, is also playing a leading role in communicating the benefits of 5G to its customers and consumers, and in demonstrating how they can ride on the technologies’ “Power of Easy” in their daily life and daily business.
This sponsored content was produced for Ericsson. For more information, visit www.ericsson.com.