2019 is the year of 5G and if you went to this year’s MWC, boy do you know it. Qualcomm’s #5GIsHere slogan sums up the tone of the show, and both businesses and consumers will be getting their hands on this technology over the next few months. But it was also easy to see that how quickly you’ll be able to download a movie on your smartphone is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential of 5G.
However, a lot of what our 5G-powered future will actually look like still remains to be seen. Those leading the charge include handset manufacturer OnePlus and network provider EE, who are inviting app developers to help develop the next "killer app" that will really make the adoption of 5G meaningful to users.
When you consider that 4G brought us the explosion of social media, and led companies like Deliveroo and Netflix to become a staple in our everyday lives, it’s hard to imagine how our lives will soon be transformed by companies that are still a twinkle in someone’s eye. In the words of OnePlus, ‘if 4G is walking on all fours, then 5G is flying - at warp speed.’ And the benefits won’t just be reaped by the few that can afford or access it; 5G will be available to all and in the UK is set to cost the same as a ‘few cups of coffee’, according to BT consumer/EE’s Marc Allera.
5G will ultimately transform how we live and work and solve some of society's biggest challenges, whether it's safer transport around our cities or revolutions in the healthcare industry. I for one am excited to see how this next-gen network is going to create new experiences, brought to us by businesses that might not even exist yet.
Qualcomm, BT and OnePlus have effectively showcased how they are working together to make the rise if 5G a reality this year at MWC 2019. But they noted there's a need to have developers creating the next innovative apps to really bring the potential of 5G into daily life, while also still noting there are roll out challenges that have yet to be tackled with aplomb. Among the myriad use cases that have been touted and discussed over the past few months as companies prepare their biggest announcements for this week, there is still some uncertainty, bundled with excitement because the most exciting use cases have yet to be imagined.