The democratization of 5G

Pascal Lemasson of MediaTek.
(Image credit: MediaTek.)

Among the numerous technologies driving innovation today, 5G, in particular, is opening doors to new experiences for both consumers and businesses. From smartphones and tablets to laptops and everyday home appliances, 5G is enabling such devices to connect and communicate faster and more seamlessly than ever before. Complemented by low-latency, 5G, will support automation, AI and machine learning to happen instantaneously to deliver richer and smarter experiences for the user, at home or on the go. 

Smartphones are leading the way in this space purely through competitive differentiation: according to Strategy Analytics, in the first quarter of this year, we saw more 5G smartphones shipped than all of 2019. To feed mass demand for better power-efficiency, higher-quality imagery for video and faster refresh rates, some smartphone manufacturers have sought high-spec 5G chipsets that can deliver an array of features that perfectly match the needs of the consumer across their smartphone portfolio. 

As these manufacturers continue to diversify their products, we can expect to see a continuation of similar chipset technology, making its way into other smart devices and home appliances at more competitive prices.

The result is a democratisation of 5G, where all consumers, not just a few, can enjoy all of its benefits.  

How 5G will deliver on the promise of 4G

"Users can expect 10Gbps data rate, latency to be reduced to virtually a millisecond and more than 100 connected devices per unit area in comparison to 4G."

Pascal Lemasson.

The fifth generation of networking technology, 5G, is said to expand on the foundations of 4G. Users can expect 10Gbps data rate, latency to be reduced to virtually a millisecond and  more than 100 connected devices per unit area in comparison to 4G. These more sophisticated capabilities allow for faster browsing, smoother entertainment experiences like watching movies or gaming, and improved communication between a multitude of smart devices. 

The reduction in latency and greater capacity will deliver real-time responsive, ending the well-known and dreaded lag but also pave the way for more automated, AI and ML applications that rely on these efficiencies. For industries, the accessibility of 5G, will level the playing field in IoT product innovation – encouraging new devices and applications to be created by businesses large and small, for businesses of all sizes in fields such as retail, manufacturing, healthcare and education.

In the 5G “Internet of Everything” era, products must empower people globally by addressing accessibility, affordability and availability in order to connect the next billion people. In doing so, 5G will open new platforms for innovation and create opportunities to make the connected world smarter and safer.

Balancing affordability  

"The components within these 5G devices, particularly the chipset is vital in driving this adoption, accessibility and affordability."

Pascal Lemasson.

As a ‘new feature,’ 5G has typically been set aside for premium devices but this tends to alienate a large portion of consumers. The components within these 5G devices, particularly the chipset is vital in driving this adoption, accessibility and affordability. For example, MediaTek’s Dimensity 5G SoC family and 5G solutions uniquely combine 5G connectivity, multimedia, AI and imaging features for premium and flagship devices at appealing price points so that device manufacturers do not have to choose between cost and add-on features for their customers.

The enterprise expansion

5G providers will need to develop new capabilities to service the enterprise markets as it’ll be a critical element in digital transformation for many businesses. Beyond connectivity, a range of areas must be explored like cloud operations, industry application development and end-to-end system integration. 

As a result, businesses can gain faster access to more information to be able to make more informed decisions and provide higher-quality customer service, wherever they may be located. In fact, as businesses start to adopt this new connectivity it has been reported by the mobile industry trade, that one in five mobile connections will be powered by 5G by 2025. For example, smart warehouses can leverage 5G benefits to increase operational productivity and precision. While facing pressure to ensure deliveries make it on time to customers, those with smaller workforces, can track inventory, monitor large delivery fleets in real-time and remotely and respond quickly to any potential challenges. 

In healthcare, 5G will support the continued adoption of robotics, telehealth services and remote patient monitoring – particularly during world pandemics, where no contact consultations are vital – more accurately, conveniently and cost-effectively. The healthcare industry can take on a new form and ecosystem where the constant flow of patient data from smart devices could help monitor and even predict potential health threats. 

In order to support such industries, 5G will need to be more readily available, accessible and enabled in infrastructure and devices.

The future of 5G

The fast growth of smart home devices, plus the more recent surge of people working from home, taking online classes and using services like telehealth and video conferencing, now requires high-speed connectivity. The roll-out of 5G services and products is increasing rapidly, and its pace of growth is not stopping. According to research from Cisco, more than 500 billion IoT devices from sensors to medical devices, will be connected to the internet by 2030.

This new connectivity will change the way we consume information, it will change entertainment and the way we communicate with each other. With 5G speeds and connectivity, consumers would be able to enjoy crystal clear video calls and quality graphics on mobile and console games seamlessly.  

5G will open up new platforms of innovation for anything that can be connected: including smartphones, IoT devices, appliances, autonomous cars and more. The lightning fast connection with 5G will enable devices to fully integrate AI and human intelligence, bringing us even smarter experiences everywhere, from your home, to your workplace, to the road and beyond. 

To encourage wider adoption, we need to address accessibility and affordability and this can only happen when the mobile ecosystem of suppliers come together to create solutions that benefit all areas of society. 

Pascal Lemasson

Pascal Lemasson, Associate Vice President, leads Corporate Sales & Business Development in Europe for MediaTek overseeing a team that manages MediaTek’s business relationships and local support to customers, operators, and business partners in the region. Prior to joining MediaTek in 2015, Lemasson worked at Texas Instruments in its Mobile Wireless Division between 1999 and 2009, holding several positions including covering the role of Senior Director for product marketing and business development. Lemasson earned his Master’s in Electronic Engineering at the Université de Caen Normandie, France.