5G, a mobile telecommunications network technology, promises to bring top-notch internet connection. It is the most recent version of a network that connects a range of equipment capable of processing, transporting, and delivering data from one terminal, such as a smartphone, to another. Undoubtedly, this can bring many advantages to society and benefit services such as transport and telemedicine.
Although 4G is superior to previous technologies, it is common to experience drops in connection. With 5G, these flaws are non-existent, allowing corporations to utilize more advanced tools to optimize their businesses. This powerful technology will manage to connect a higher number of users without any instability; hence, more transactions will occur in real-time. The fast connection will facilitate online payments for customers – thus, all companies would thrive as internet sales would experience a drastic increase due to the ease in viewing products and making purchases.
In Brazil, some cities do have 5G, however, it is not the 5G which assures benefits to economy and businesses. It is called 5G DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing) - in practice, it cannot reach its full potential. The company that will be responsible for implementing "pure 5G" is yet to be auctioned. It is expected to be applied to 27 Brazilian cities by June 2022.
Now talking specifically about the possible impacts on the economy, the manufacturing sector is expected to be favored by 5G technology, through the implementation of Automated Guided Vehicles in factories and warehouses. With the help of 5G, these vehicles would be able to plan flexible paths and replacements of conveyor belts. Also, they would be able to locate equipment with high accuracy.
Regarding mining, it is important to point out the need to manage high-risk operations. According to a paper by Nokia and Omdia, this makes the mining industry one of the first strong candidates to adopt service-supported 5G. Some initiatives using private 4G networks have been implemented in mines, where signal coverage is usually lacking. However, 5G will bring a better quality of service and will meet stricter delay and speed requirements.
The retail industry, on the other hand, is believed to be one of the most important economic activities in Brazil - soon, it will begin to feel the unprecedented impact of 5G. Unquestionably, quicker speeds brought by eMBB will ensure improved customer experience through augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) services, page loading, and financial operations (payments and transfers). According to the paper, customer support will also be enhanced, including video calls. Research shows that with 5G FWA (Fixed Wireless Access), operators will be able to offer SD-WAN (Software-Defined Approach to WAN Management) services without having to invest a lot of money in fiber optics connections.
Lastly, the agricultural sector, which is highly productive and export orientated, could be greatly affected by 5G technology. According to a study made by Nokia, 5G has the potential to be the only connectivity layer needed to link devices in the agricultural industry, such as irrigation systems and autonomous vehicles.
However, a rising concern regarding this technology is its threat to cybersecurity. With an increase in devices connected to a network, monitoring is essential to prevent cyber-attacks, because just as technology advances rapidly, cybercriminals also adapt their practices at great speed. Despite these obstacles, 5G promises numerous advantages to our society. In Brazil, it is expected that 5G will have an impact of up to $1.2 trillion on Brazil's GDP between 2021 and 2035!
Written by: Henrique Sampaio
Edited by: Anna Kissajikian