How 5G networks will transform African commerce

How 5G networks will transform African commerce

5G network will be very huge and African commerce will likely benefit in an unprecedented way.

Imagine a world where your car detects you have left a meeting, anticipates the optimal route, and pulls up to the curb on your behalf. Or a sensor deep in the forest that notifies authorities of a wildfire before it happens.

5G may help to massively expand IoT by enabling connected devices and sensors to gather data continuously, proactively, and (eventually) to allow our devices to act on our behalves. Qualcomm Sr. VP Raj Talluri envisions a world where sensors communicate hazards to the appropriate people before they ever materialize.

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We’ll be aware of and able to interact with our surroundings to new levels — even with “things” thousands of miles away — through very intelligent connected devices and sensors. These sensors will allow us to gather data continuously, to be proactive and, eventually, even allow our devices to act on our behalves. For example, smart home cameras will alert people when a package has been delivered to the front door, or when a stranger standing at the door. Or a baby camera will allow parents to see how well their baby is sleeping, or inform them about the baby’s sleep trends and monitor breathing and other vital signs for peace of mind during the night.

From autonomous cars to smart cities, the potential for the “internet of things” (IoT) is extraordinary. Despite this promise, today’s sensors are relatively disconnected – making many of the envisioned IoT applications impractical for the moment.

Industry leaders are hammering out standards for 5G networks which are projected to switch on around 2020. 5G may empower an internet of things revolution, as even the smallest connected devices could become able to do heavy computational tasks via connections with other devices, notes Intel’s Asha Keddy.

These 5G networks will be faster but also a lot smarter. Devices will need to become smarter, too, as they will act as networking nodes rather than just terminals. Keddy said that’s why Intel is working on technologies for the core, edge, and access points of these networks as well as what’s required for devices to take full advantage of 5G networks.

With 5G, computing power and information will feel like they’re following you around. Wearables, smartphones, tablets, and other devices with sensors that are location and context aware will work together with apps and services you use. Keddy said that with all of these things working together, they might bring augmented experiences to real life.

However, 5G mobile which is projected to be commercially available in 2020, may power a Massive IoT revolution (MIoT). IHS Markit expects 5G to create 22m jobs and produce up to $12.3tn of goods and services by 2035. Yes, 5G is expected to create 22 million jobs, produce up to $12.3 trillion of goods and services by 2035 and catapult mobile into the exclusive realm of General Purpose Technologies, like electricity and the automobile.

According to the study, in 2035, when 5G’s full economic benefit should be realized across the globe, a broad range of industries – from retail to education, transportation to entertainment, and everything in between – could produce up to $12.3 trillion worth of goods and services enabled by 5G.

The 5G value chain itself is seen as generating up to $3.5 trillion in revenue in 2035, supporting as many as 22 million jobs. Over time, 5G will boost real global GDP growth by $3 trillion dollars cumulatively from 2020 to 2035, roughly the equivalent of adding an economy the size of India to the world in today’s dollars.

The network may achieve 1000x the data capacity of 4G, while the smallest connected devices will gain the ability to execute complex tasks. As large datasets are rapidly interpreted and our physical world gains intelligence, risk models will need to adapt. The implications for insurance are noteworthy, and startups who incorporate the flood of data into their businesses may find an edge.

The promise of 5G is huge – Africa needs to prepare for this technology at the creative side.


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