One the biggest disruptions we will ever see is underway. It will change our world like never before creating opportunities and possibilities that will touch all our lives and affect the economies of countries all around the globe. This disruption is the anytime, anywhere connectivity brought about by the 5G revolution and the digital economies it enables.
Digitalised economies deliver increases in productivity, efficiency and global scale that have far reaching effects for society, employment and GDP. Indeed, adoption of digital technologies is now the single most significant factor affecting economic growth and global competitiveness, consequently countries that embrace digitalisation will achieve significant advantages over those that don’t and infrastructure is without doubt a key enabler.
Building ubiquitous infrastructure is therefore paramount and the rapid growth of smart technology requires that future infrastructure have mobile at its core and this is precisely what 5G will deliver. Companies too must embrace the digital and mobile revolution or face being left behind by faster, more agile competitors.
Research by BCG/GSMA Association shows that leaders in mobile adoption outpaced revenue growth by a factor of two and added jobs eight times more quickly than those who were slow to adapt. This is a situation that cannot be sustained for long and will ultimately see companies that fail to adapt go to the wall.
But what will the future mobile infrastructure look like? It will be like electricity, it’s just there, providing connectivity anytime, anywhere, to anyone or anything. Like electricity too, it will provide the perception of infinite capacity. When an appliance is plugged in the wall no one stops to consider if there is sufficient power, in effect it’s assumed to be infinite even though it is not. This is the way to think about future mobile connectivity too. Whether the connection is 3G, 4G or even 5G is irrelevant; that it delivers the required performance is all that matters As already mentioned 5G will have huge implications for UK businesses and so to give UK companies a head start in this exciting new field the government has established a number of 5G test beds, one of which is at the Desk Lodge co-working space on Basing View.
The test bed was built by the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre and provides early access to 5G infrastructure bringing together a range of the latest generation technology and solutions. It offers a secure, network infrastructure to foster the innovative use of 5G, providing ubiquitous connectivity to support new applications including for the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles and e-health initiatives.
5G networks are expected to start rolling out next year so companies need to start thinking and planning for 5G now and that’s exactly what the test bed will help them do.