As 100,000 people gathered in the Spanish city this week for the Mobile World Congress, the industry’s annual conference, the next generation mobile network took center stage.
This is not just to do with its super-fast speeds, it’s because 5G will create a ripple of developments that will change daily life.
“5G is going to have a massive impact on people lives,” says Laila Worrell, CEO of Altran North America, a high-tech engineering company. “We are going to see a big advance in quality of life that 5G can deliver for individuals.”
For starters, there’s the part it can play in your commute. Self-driving cars have been on the radar for a while, but with a 5G network they could become reality.
Industry players claim 5G can be 100 times faster than 4G and that a huge number of devices will be able to connect to the network simultaneously. This will enable vehicles to talk to each other in real time: they’ll know when another car is changing lanes or braking and can adjust to manage traffic accordingly.
The BMW iNEXT, an electric SUV expected to come onto the market in 2021, is fitted with sensors that collect and process data from the car’s surroundings.