March 16, 2022 | Updated: June 21, 2022
Emerging 5G networks are reshaping the world’s connectivity, creating a faster and more sophisticated data network while paving the way for transformative new technologies. The value and opportunities created through the deployment of 5G cannot be overemphasized.
“Billions of eager minds are interested in experiencing ultra-fast connectivity, robust internet, and applications like AI, robotics and smart industries,” said IEEE Member Ramneek Kalra.
5G will play a critical role in improving the world’s productivity levels, fuel innovation, and ultimately improve quality of life.
Emerging economies face several challenges for 5G implementation, such as the lack of network infrastructure, cost barriers and much more. Despite the challenges of implementation, the rollout of 5G in emerging economies afford many benefits to their citizens.
The rollout of 5G promises significant economic impact as it enables people and businesses to participate in ways they haven’t been able to previously.
Unconnected economies leave workers with few options due to the lack of internet access that is essential to many industries. Those without this access are not able to participate in the sale of goods and services online, nor are they able to develop the digital skills necessary for many jobs today. Additionally, working from home is unrealistic without adequate internet access. This lack of access hinders the development and economic well-being of these nations and their people.
“With low latency, superior speed and quality of the network, 5G is paving its way to create never-before-seen opportunities for people and businesses. 5G rollout is the foundational stone to bridge the supply-demand chain between consumers and producers while covering specific network needs of various domains. The technology will facilitate various networked technologies to serve as the basis for societal innovation in India,” said Kalra.
Broadband connectivity is a foundational component of a quality education and setting students up for success.
“Quality of education using 5G will deploy smart teaching modules, e-learning and virtual classes,” said Kalra.
Those lacking internet access lack important access to schooling and educational content. The implications of these digital disadvantages have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As working or studying from home is unrealistic for those without internet access, this often forces a decision between learning or earning a living—with offline students often receiving no education at all.
Investing in 5G rollout is an investment into the education of students and tremendously expands the options and opportunities for the unconnected.
The quality of connectivity is integral to the level of quality healthcare a nation has access to. 5G technology will make access to telemedicine more widely available, particularly for the underserved and those who may live far away from healthcare providers. “Due to lack of healthcare facilities in distant areas, innovative telehealth apps could bloom,” said IEEE Member Jéferson Nobre.
Additionally, important processes that are essential to telemedicine will be much more efficient due to 5G’s higher bandwidth and lower latency. Remote devices used for monitoring a patient remotely will be made possible to produce a more personalized experience and higher quality of care.
Actively Modernizing Digital Infrastructures
It is clear that 5G rollouts have a significant role to play in modernizing emerging economies’ digital infrastructures and ultimately improving the lives of their citizens. 5G technology helps bridge the digital divide, creating a more inclusive digital economy that affords the underserved and unconnected the opportunity to participate.
Despite the challenges of implementation, many nations are actively working to make these many benefits a reality and invest in the future success of their economies and their people.
“Through building partnerships, investments, and network trails, India is actively working on making 5G deployment a viable business and upgrading existing opportunities. Initiatives such as, ‘Digital India’, ‘BharatNet’ and ‘Smart Cities’, along with the high rate of fiberization across various parts of India have brought telecom tower companies’ implementation capabilities to the fore,” said Kalra. “As India continues to hold its entrepreneurial spirit, we look forward to bringing more initiatives with a complete deployment for the 5G network.”
IEEE members and volunteers are deeply involved in efforts to expand 5G connectivity. IEEE Future Networks is a great way to get insight into all the ways IEEE members address the many facets, opportunities and challenges related to the development and deployment of 5G network technologies and beyond.