The fifth generation of mobile telecommunications (5G), which Greece moves a step closer to on Wednesday with the auction of available bandwidth, is based on higher frequencies and on a greater section of the frequency spectrum, allowing for data to reach a higher number of appliances compared to the past, and faster too.
That advantage, market professionals say, will form the basis for new business models, whereby devices that are interconnected through sensors will be able exchange data.
The shorter response time compared to 4G – i.e. the time required for a piece of information to travel from A to B and back – is set to expand the potential of devices and allow for new wireless applications. For example, it takes a 5G network to schedule driver-less buses – as the City of Trikala has done since last December, when Vodafone Greece launched a pilot program in the Thessaly city. Vodafone has also implemented some other 5G applications in medicine, education and transport.
According to the experts, the arrival of 5G networks will transform entire business domains and create an endless number of new ones. Since last May, Cosco Shipping has transformed the port of Xiamen in China onto a “smart” one, installing 5G technology that allows for self-driving vehicles, managing facilities by remote control, and an improvement in security.
There is already a significant number of companies developing applications and sensors in Greece that fully allow for the remote management and and control of an installation. They include the smart device Coolio that Vodafone Innovus has developed for the management of the cold supply chain in healthcare – i.e. facilities where the temperature is very low.
The very small response time with 5G and the reduced energy requirements (by up to 60%) compared to 4G are expected to release investments in the creation of digital air traffic controls and data centers.
Greek fund Faistos is also expected to offer a boost to new, 5G-backed applications: With funds of €92 million, or 25% of the 5G auction proceeds, Faistos will focus on financing apps relying on 5G telecommunication networks.