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The Tech Revolution

The world’s giant communication companies are in a global race to be the first to launch 5G. It is the next generation of mobile data that will revolutionize how we use the internet and will have ramifications that will impact global power.

What is the Internet of Things? The tech revolution explained

The world’s giant communication companies are in a global race to be the first to launch 5G. It is the next generation of mobile data that will revolutionize how we use the internet and will have ramifications that will impact global power. This is why the US and China are engaged in cold war to build the technology first.

Before going to that let us first just have a look at how impressive the 5G could be. So what is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of mobile internet delivering speed that is much faster than the current 4G. It will mean than a two-hour HD movie that currently takes seven minutes to download could be downloaded in six seconds. YES! Just seven seconds. But the 5G potential is much more than downloading the movies in almost no time. Once complete 5G will lay the foundation for a communication architecture that will change how we do things. For starters, it will change how we drive. 5G will allow autonomous vehicles to connect with each other and any supportive driving infrastructure. Chinese research giant Baidu already successfully tested self-driving cars connected to a 5G network in March 2018. Since then it has already built more than 100 self-driving buses. Last year, the Chinese government launched the country’s first 5G autonomous vehicle test site in Beijing at a 2.2 KM track. The track has four lanes equipped with sensors smart traffic lights and most importantly a built-in Huawei antenna with super-fast 5G signal which allows the cars to detect movement and react to changing conditions and receive data from smart roads and other cars.

5G will revolutionise health care. Doctors will be able to diagnose and treat patients at a distance changing the way millions if not billions of us access to health care. This is what the hospitals of future could look like, no long queues for treatment. Doctors will be able to connect and examine their patients virtually. Even remote surgeries will be possible. Zero lag time means surgeries can be done in no time and remotely with robot surgeons and this is already happening. This year a Chinese surgeon performed the world first 5G-powered brain surgery and this is how he used remotely controlled robot surgeons on a patient that was 3000 KM away. While remote surgery is still in its trial phase, thanks to 5G, they may well become a reality in the near future.

The 5G Economy:

With all these technological advancements 5G will be powering the fourth industrial revolution where everything would be interconnected wirelessly changing the industrial production of tomorrow. As factories become smarter more dependent on automation powered by 5G jobs that rely on manpower will take a hit. Robots will replace millions of blue-collar jobs and we will likely live in a world with few cashiers, security guards, taxi drivers and manual jobs in manufacturing but more jobs in innovation and tech. With 5G artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality will come together as an integral part of our daily life. Advance industries like telecommunications, biotechnology and artificial intelligence will make multi-billion profits. Thanks to 5G. So whoever is leading the way with 5G technology will be primed to lead the future global economy.

Race for 5G:

Right now, the top countries racing to obtain 5G technology are China, the US, South Korea and Japan and China is the best place as it has done the most to develop an infrastructure for commercialising 5G. Huawei claims that it is months ahead of other 5G manufacturers. They are already helping countries like Russia to build their own 5G network and Americans are not happy about it. They steal half a trillion dollars from us every year in intellectual property and technology, said a senior US tech analyst.
The US has been at the forefront of all telecommunication innovations in the last century. This leadership has provided the US economy with billions of dollars. Currently, the wireless industry supports more than 4.7 million jobs and contributes roughly 47 billion dollars annually to the US economy.

A study by the Qualcomm on the benefits of 5G said that it will generate up to 3.3 trillion dollars in revenue in 2035 and create 22 million jobs. So losing the 5G race will mean losing billions of dollars and millions of jobs to China. China has outspent the US by 24 billion dollars since 2015 on 5G infrastructure. It has 350000 mobile towers which support 5G sites. The US has only 30000. And although China has received a big blow after top US corporations like Google and Qualcomm blacklisted Huawei over espionage claims Huawei is still determined to be a leading global 5G provider. So regardless of whether the real concern over China acquiring 5G is a result of fear of espionage or dominating the global economy.

The country that wins the 5G race will impact global power. Is the US position at the head of the table under threat? Time will decide…

Fatima Ejaz



Master's degree in Mass communication from National University of Modern Languages Islamabad.
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