Blazing-fast speeds. Ultra low latency. 5G is poised to take over the world this year, and it does so in a time where connectivity is now more important than ever. More than just a buzzword, 5G delivers benefits to both businesses and consumers that will be felt even more over time as it powers infrastructure that advances industries, further promoting digital transformation in a changing world.
In Asia, a fast-growing region for internet connectivity, various countries are already making the shift to the new standard, introducing reshaped connectivity as the new normal. With the ability to deliver more possibilities for consumers and businesses alike, 5G is a technology you shouldn’t miss. Take a look at what defines 5G, and how it’s shaping Asia’s connected future.
The basics and benefits of 5G
5G is the fifth generation of mobile connectivity. Launched in 2019, it succeeds 4G, the current global standard. One of the most tangible benefits of this new wireless standard is vastly increased speed. Early signs point to having near-gigabit speeds (1 Gbps or 1000 mbps) for internet use, with consumers feeling the benefits with increased opportunities for productivity, entertainment, commerce, and more.
More than just download speeds however, 5G also focuses on strengthening upstream bandwidth, which benefits technologies like cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), powering the interconnectivity between smart devices. Unlike 4G which focused only on increased download speeds, 5G’s power lies in its ability to carry huge amounts of downstream and upstream data and deliver it up to 1000 times faster. There is much reason to be excited for 5G especially for industries relying on technology to power their business operations.
Asia’s different players lead the way
Asia is home to more than half of the world’s internet users, and the world’s biggest 5G players. Companies like Huawei and ZTE from China, and Broadcom from Singapore are powering much of Asia’s—and some of the world’s telecommunications. However, their dominance isn’t always guaranteed: recent political shifts have opened opportunities for major players outside of Asia to rise, like Nokia and Ericsson, both veteran telecommunications companies in their own right.
In Southeast Asia, Singapore leads the way but is closely followed by its neighbors like Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Philippines. The shift to 5G is heavily promoted as industries shift their operations and go digital as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the rise of video conferencing, ecommerce adoption, and internet use for remote work and learning, it’s a race for 5G players worldwide, especially since the industries that benefit from these change trends also demand faster commercial internet services.
Implications from micro to the macro scale
As internet connectivity improves, so do the possibilities. Entertainment gets a boost with 5G, as downloading an entire season of a favorite series or TV show can no be done at lightning speed. Streaming takes on a new level with 4K Ultra HD quality video. You can even stream video games without the need for a powerful gaming console or device, as evidenced by the recent launch of Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud this year, two industry giants entering the video game streaming market, and Globe Telecom successfully completing consoleless gaming tests in partnership with Apper.
Across Asia, various industries benefit from 5G in meaningful ways. In Indonesia, they use 5G drones to collect data and monitor plantations, transforming the agriculture industry. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, China used the technology to power field hospitals and smart devices to monitor patient health. In the logistics sector, 5G is used to increase robotics capacity, along with introducing smart warehouses to adapt to low-touch restrictions.
5G also has deeper implications for technologies like big data, machine learning, and data analytics: with real-time services now within reach, businesses are able to conduct their operations faster and with much greater efficiency.
The road towards achieving a smarter society is closer than ever before. With the structures in place to power the next generation of living, we wouldn’t just have smart devices: we would have smart cities, and more connected and convenient lifestyles. The future isn’t just a dream, it’s poised to become a reality with 5G.
Mosselle Louise Cruz
Sales and Marketing
Mosselle is an experienced tech startup country launcher and marketing professional with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and Tech Startup industry. She has helped ASEAN tech brands expand to the Philippines since 2015. She has worked with FinTech and HRTech startups during their early phases, setting up groundwork for the local teams to drive growth and jumpstart operations.