The next few years will see the world go through some major changes as the era of 5G technology approaches. The question is: how will that affect us, users? Fifth generation mobile networks will open up new horizons, and intelligent traffic management systems, smart cities and telemedicine will undoubtedly make our lives easier. 80% of adult Hungarian Internet users are interested in 5G-related innovations, and 71% would be happy to try out devices and solutions using 5G. The latest “Report on the Internet Economy” by eNET – Telekom focuses on expectations for future applications of 5G technology in Hungary.
What do we need 5G for?
Although 5G will enable much faster data transfer than 4G, speed will not be its main advantage. 5G networks will also be able to handle significantly larger numbers of connected devices, and the latency of data transfer between devices will decrease considerably. This will open the door to technologies and solutions currently not in existence, or existing only in experimental forms, such as intelligent traffic management systems, smart homes and cities, robotic remote surgery, and telemedicine.
Awareness of 5G as a future Internet-based solution is relatively low among adult Hungarian Internet users. Although more than half of all participants have heard about it, only 14% actually know what the expression ’5G’ means exactly. However, Internet users keep an open mind: nearly 80% are interested in what this new technology could offer.
The most popular 5G solutions
Presented with a list of possible 5G solutions in eNET’s online research conducted in July 2017, adult Hungarian Internet users rated smart traffic control the highest, giving it a mean of 4.4 points out of 5. 5G smart traffic control systems will analyse traffic flow data collected by sensors in the road throughout the city to control traffic lights in order to minimize unnecessary stopping of vehicles. These systems will also be able to inform drivers about free parking spaces nearby.
The second most popular choice was 5G-based personal and property protection (4.1 out of 5). A few examples of what such solutions could do: alerting the user and recording video footage in case their child leaves school premises without permission; or a sick relative who lives alone stops moving; or their empty home is broken into.
The third most popular application of 5G was the so-called smart city (4.0 out of 5), a concept which, if implemented, would ensure a liveable, clean, energy-efficient and green environment with the help of intelligent technology and increased inclusion of the population.
The two remaining items on the top5 list were 5G-based healthcare solutions and self-driving cars, both getting 3.9 points out of 5. In the field of healthcare, 5G would allow hospital doctors on call to monitor the vitals of all patients at once through a centralized database; it would make delivering medicine to otherwise inaccessible locations possible via drones; and perhaps it would allow for robotic remote surgery techniques to develop fully. Truly self-driving cars on the other hand will be able to travel at high speeds minimizing the risk of accidents and traffic jams, using 5G to communicate with other cars and traffic control systems in order to avoid hitting pedestrians and obstacles.
Development is key
As the digital world is in constant change, bringing to life newer devices and possibilities every day, data security is becoming an increasingly important topic in the discourse of development. 78% of participants think privacy policies must evolve together with technology.
Ten out of seven Internet users would be happy to try out new devices and solutions using 5G, and over half of them think that new technology made possible by 5G will change our lives immensely.
Still wondering how this new generation of networks could be of use for us? Well, we do not have to wait too long: the first 5G-powered innovations are expected to debut in 2020.
eNET – Telekom
About the survey: eNET interviewed 865 Internet users over 18 years of age in July 2017. The survey was conducted via the online research community veva.hu (short for Véleményem Van – „I have an opinion”). The results are representative of the views of Hungarian internet users aged 18+ in terms of sex, age and region.