Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
Rollout of 5G technology are expected to give the global economy a $1.3 trillion boost by 2030, a new report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has stated.
The report revealed that more than half of the global economic impact of 5G will be seen in the health and social care space by driving automation, improved communications and telemedicine services.
The next generation of mobile networks has been much hyped and debated over the last several years, with advocates claiming it will help usher in the fourth industrial revolution.
Following global trends in telecommunications development of 5G, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) had in November 2019, embarked on a Proof of Concept (trial) with mobile network operator, MTN in six locations using different equipment vendors for a period of three months. Relevant stakeholders including members of the security agencies were involved in the trial.
The trial was conducted to enable the Commission assess the performance of the technology in comparison with existing technologies, evaluate compliance to health and safety guidelines and also use the lessons learnt to guide Policy towards commercial deployment.
According to PwC’s report, the roll-out of 5G in Ireland was in line with roll-outs internationally and will be faster than 4G launches in the past, given the growing demand for this technology.
A partner at PwC Ireland Advisory Consulting, Amy Ball said 5G is about more than faster speeds, adding that paired with artificial intelligence and the internet of things, it will show its true impact for both industry and consumers.
He said: “5G promises to increase innovation, efficiency and productivity for businesses and governments.
“Key benefits also include reduced lag times with ultra-reliable communication, higher bandwidth and download speeds, with much improved streaming communications. 5G will result in new markets and new ways of working.”
People in Ireland will have seen an increasing number of 5G devices on the market in the past year and network operators adjusting their services in response to increased remote working.
The Director of PwC Ireland Advisory Consulting, Neil Redmond, said: “When 5G arrived in Ireland, the majority of users were using handsets that were 2G to 4G compliant. The proliferation of new devices with 5G connectivity during the pandemic has a knock on effect for workers and service providers.
“For example, the new normal of working from home may see more remote workers exceed the average 9.2GB per month in Q2 2020 in download allowances. This may mean that operators have to adjust their service offerings to cater for users requiring higher monthly download limits than currently available.”
2020 was tipped to be a major year for 5G, but the pandemic caused some delays with several European countries opting to postpone 5G spectrum auctions last spring and summer.
5G has also been fraught with political spats and concerns over security, most notably tensions between the US and Chinese telecommunications equipment maker, Huawei.
The United States, and specifically the Trump administration, had accused the company of ties to the Chinese government and of carrying out espionage.