5G is Here, and Ericsson is Already Envisioning What This Means for the Future

By Gizmodo UK on at

The age of 5G is finally here, with all the UK networks promising to have their next gen services up and running before the end of the year. You may have heard a lot about what 5G means for you, but it’s not all down to the networks. In fact Ericsson has already drawn up their vision of the future, and their work in 5G is a core part of that.

Of course there are plenty of companies working on 5G, but Ericsson is really trying to show off the benefits it offers the people. It’s been working in a number of key areas to ensure we can all can get the most of 5G technology, and its campaign is designed to show off what can be accomplished.

There’s the main campaign film, a single shot take quickly looking at a variety of topics, like the ones we’ve just discussed, plus seven longer ‘Tech Hero’ films that take a closer look at how 5G can improve those fields.

The one that’s already close to reality is game streaming, which topped many a headline during the E3 conference. The idea is that you can play a game as if it were running on your own console, even though everything is happening in a data centre hundreds of miles away. It’s no easy feat to cut down the lag and response time when you’re travelling such long distances, but 5G is here to help.

5G signal is designed to carry large amounts of data at any given time, thanks to its naturally high bandwidth, without any of the latency increase that would cause noticeable lag. And nobody wants that, do they? Thankfully 5G is one such solution, and it means buying a console and plugging it into the network will be a thing of the past.

The same is true for virtual reality. It’s taken off in a big way already, but there are still things that cause people to hesitate before they pick up an expensive headset. The best headsets need even better computers to connect to, and the cost can shoot up out of nowhere. Some companies have opted to produce smaller stand-alone headsets with cheaper hardware and less functionality.

Take streaming into account, and streaming powered by 5G to boot, and suddenly all you need is a headset. No computer, internal or external, required, and you can immerse yourself into whatever virtual world takes your fancy without ever knowing the difference. All you then have to worry about is making sure you have enough games to play

The best part, though? 5G is wireless, and you’re not going to end up tangled in anything.

And that’s also true for Augmented Reality projects too. The difference being that in AR you could, with a bit of help of some robotics, remotely interact with the real world from however many miles away you are. Interaction that lets you see what’s going on, and using haptics that let you feel the same sorts of things you would if you were there. Regardless of whether you’re one or one thousand miles away.

Heck this sort of system could easily transport you to an event you weren’t able to attend. Imagine being able to beam yourself into the World Cup final, or a concert, with the same atmosphere you’d experience if you were actually there. And all without leaving your living room.

Then of course there’s the internet of things. The idea of connecting every device takes some work to accomplish, and part of that’s needed is a network capable of handling all the data connections necessary to make it worthwhile. That comes back to the idea of 5G’s high bandwidth, which enables all that data to be sent at the same time - and quickly to boot. It’s going to be especially important as self driving car technology progresses, if there’s ever a hope of autonomous vehicles being adopted en masse.

Those machines need to handle and process a lot of data, and 5G means that work can be outsourced to a remote location and beamed back in almost no time at all. In the same way that cloud gaming keeps everything on the server end, driverless cars don’t need to drive around doing all that work themselves. And there’s a lot of data it needs to take in, including road conditions, obstacles, traffic reports, and more. Without 5G, it’s just not going to happen.

Some 5G networks may have already come online, but the work is far from done - and Ericsson is working with operators across the world to make it happen. Right now 5G users can enjoy the benefits of faster speeds and higher bandwidth, but all the really good stuff is still to come.