By Godana Galma
At the dawn of the new decade, perhaps the most anticipated technological breakthrough is not the progress of autonomous vehicles or the onset of smart cities but rather the evolutionary technology underpinning them. This is the Fifth Generation Mobile Network Technology commonly known as 5G.
Based on early signs, 5G promises a technological paradigm shift not only in the field of telecommunications but also in the areas of healthcare, manufacturing, transport and commerce. This is because this generation of cellular broadband is designed to increase speed and substantially improve lower latency which can consequently improve the performance of real time applications. The substantial jump in speed will support a number of data intensive tasks such as streaming heavy video content and instantaneous video calls amongst others. A practical example of the significant jump in speed offered by 5G is evident in tests showing that an ordinary 5GB film in High Definition can be downloaded, in ideal conditions, in about 8 seconds.
Further, with improved flexibility of wireless services, 5G is poised to unleash the full potential of the ‘Internet of Things’ i.e. the system by which a variety of everyday machines connected to the web can send and receive data. This presents several benefits including the development of autonomous vehicles, augmented AI and remote medical care. In this way, the network is poised to provide an underlying fabric of unprecedented connectivity to a wide array of industries thereby transforming economic and business policies globally. At the local level, 5G rollout is expected to improve the lives of ordinary Kenyans by enhancing mobile communication facilities and improving digital literacy especially in rural areas which are predominantly under 2/3G coverage.Continue reading