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Luuk Jacobs

The launch of 5G and the next phase of technology

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Luuk Jacobs

With the role out of 5G started by EE in various UK cities, the mobile internet is promising to get much faster and being able to match the fixed line broadband. But it is not just a story of speed as this next generation mobile broadband network will equally spark the development and launch of new apps: from keeping track of vehicles and equipment around the country, to running complex networks of factory robots and autonomous systems capable of communicating with each other, or with a cloud-based control system in near real-time.

So what does this mean in practise ? Think of healthcare and an ambulance will vie able to more reliable and sophisticated communicate with the hospital and send over medical data of the patient where every second counts. Autonomous driving will become more of a reality with the exchange between car and many other data.

Phil Baulch, BT's CIO of corporate and public sector, says that, with the increasing availability of distributed edge computing systems where every device on the network is also a node in a compute cluster, "you can start to connect a city, you can start to connect everything in the home together. You can start to connect the supply chain to the factory to the distribution chain to the robotics in a house." 

Around this hype of speed and improved connectivity, I would like to add some caution as in my experience the much hyped move from 3G to 4G has been underwhelming and often I still find my self with only 3G, even in London. Equally with the interconnection of whole cities, what does that do to security and confidentiality of data. Do we really want to give away all our personal data for the "greater" good. We like to think that in the internet of things everything is for free, but the short history has learnt that we pay a dear price for the data we (unconsciously) provide.

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