As 5G succeeds 4G as the standard for mobile broadband telecommunications, we will see the promise of ultra-high-bandwidth and ultra-high-speed data being realized. 5G will give rise to new conveniences and amazing applications not only in our consumer lives but also in areas such as medical, military and defense, and emergency response.
While the benefits to consumers are obvious, 5G is enabling surgeons to operate on patients remotely using robots and video via cellular networks. Telerobotic surgeries have already been performed, repairing spinal disorders and stimulating the brain of someone suffering from Parkinson’s disease, for instance. As bandwidth dramatically rises and latency becomes imperceptibly low — several milliseconds — we are witnessing incredible feats. Imagine the future where we can overcome geographical shortages of doctors as well as pandemics that keep us apart to provide lifesaving efforts from a distance.
5G will radically change defense operations
At SAIC, we are working on the next generation of mobile services and capabilities for our nation’s warfighters who risk their lives and must maintain formation every day at the tactical edge. 5G is a data transport option for our Edge Services package of hardware, software, and apps for mobile, cloud-driven networking, compute, and storage on the frontlines.
In a localized area, or cell, 5G allows for high-speed data from the cloud and between edge devices. When our nation’s troops are engaged in conflict, fractions of seconds matter for getting information to their tablets and phones. 5G will keep warfighting units aware of each other’s battlespace conditions and activities almost instantaneously.
Command-and-control (C2) and situational awareness (SA) applications feeding the common operating picture are primed for 5G. Crystal-clear streaming video requires an enormous amount of transmission bandwidth and extremely low latency. We will see peer-to-peer transfers of large data files in seconds.
5G is essentially the glue that joins together what my SAIC colleague Jubal Biggs calls the tactical cloudlet. A 5G microcell can serve all the individuals within it and even aggregate the capabilities of each mobile device into a large computing platform. Other uses of technology we haven’t even thought about today will become ubiquitous in the 5G realm.