5G is set to transform a range of sectors, including health, agriculture and education.
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For home users, 5G will make it much faster to download content, such as being able to download a 2 hour movie in less than 10 seconds, compared to 7 minutes with 4G. For major industries, 5G is set to transform how services are delivered in the future. For example, agriculture and health are particularly well positioned to take advantage of the benefits offered by 5G.

The use of sensor technology on farms to monitor soil moisture is designed to help improve yields while using less water. It is estimated 5G will be able to connect 10 times the number of devices as 4G within a set area (like a farm), significantly increasing the data available to the farmer.

In the health sector, the low latency of 5G will for the first time provide the real-time access needed for telemedicine and telesurgery making it possible to treat and operate remotely on patients hundreds or thousands of kilometres away.

Other health developments set to use 5G include smart bandages that track healing; health wearables able to reliably transmit real-time data to medical professionals; and smaller, nimbler surgical robots able to assist in telesurgery.

COVID-19 has highlighted the value of real-time data during a health crisis. We have seen first-hand how access to real-time data can literally mean the difference between life and death. It is likely this experience will see many nations prioritise their digital infrastructure to ensure they can quickly tap into real-time data — a task that will only be helped by 5G technology.

While some of the applications of 5G are already known, many more new services and applications are expected to be developed as coverage becomes more widespread – the same way smartphones led to the creation of new apps and services.

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