5G explained easy: that's why it will improve our life

21-05-2020 | News

The controversy between the United States and China over theaffaire geopolitical of 5G. If in the past - and still today - Washington has repeatedly warned its allies about the risks of welcoming new Beijing technology networks in its territories, after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the plot thickened with hoaxes that alarmed citizens and administrations Also in Italy.

Amplified by the bass drum of social networks, they have traveled around the world fake news which correlated the increase in Covid-19 infections with the presence of the 5G antennas. Boutade, but not so harmless: in Great Britain there have been several cases of antennas set on fire such as those of the Nightingale hospital in Birmingham, one of the structures most involved in the fight against coronavirus. Similar cases also in Italy, a Naples, where vandals have damaged the infrastructure that manages 3G and 4G leaving the population without a network. But putting aside both the conspiracies and the war between the US and China for technological supremacy, what are the potentials of 5G? And because it remains one enabling technology for the smart cities of the future?

It will not change our smartphone, but our cities

«We trivialize to the maximum: 5G is like a water pipe that allows many more" data "to pass than the others - he explained in an interview Matteo Cesana, professor of Internet Foundations and Networks at the Politecnico di Milano -. Raising the bar a little, it is the latest evolution of classic mobile radio systems ». The new generation network will not do much to do to travel faster our smartphones. Rather, it will make possible a long series of innovations in cities, home automation, industry 4.0 and telemedicine.

The urban models for a 5G stitched on buildings and parks are already there and could soon be inaugurated: at the last CES in Las Vegas the automaker Toyota has unveiled the plan for Woven City, a small hyper-technological Japanese town, a paradise for pedestrians and cyclists and a land forbidden for all those cars that do not have autonomous driving on board. Under Mount Fuji, where this new town is expected to open in 2021 (but the pandemic emergency could delay the cutting of the ribbon), 5G will be the essential infrastructure for speak among them the objects in a safe and efficient environment.

5G, in other words, has been designed for cars and not for men. The transport sector is perhaps the one that best shows innovations in people's eyes. To operate in a busy and variable urban context, autonomous driving needs an infrastructure capable of making a huge amount of data run. On a smaller scale, the diffusion of autonomous driving has already started in the form of experiments and, due to the considerable investments needed, it could proceed with the public administrations that reconvert local transport in this perspective.

From public transport to remote surgery

TO Milanfor example, an evaluation of the impact of autonomous driving for bus lines 90 and 91 would be under study. But the road is not downhill. «On the one hand, car manufacturers will not start developing autonomous driving until there is a 5G network spread nationwide, on the other hand, they will not invest in infrastructure until there is a sufficient demand", has explained Dimitris Mavrakis, 5G expert and director of ABI Research, underlining how the game of new generation networks should be played on the double track of public and private sector investments.

Another crucial area for 5G development is the telemedicine, so much so that there is already talk of a 5.0 medicine. Thanks to the Internet of Medical Things, doctors and nurses will have one more tool for monitoring patients, even managing to carry out remote surgery. At the hospital in Terni, Umbria, it has already happened thanks to 5G and the collaboration with TIM. Finally, there is the chapter of the industry: in addition to improving corporate cybersecurity, raising barriers against any attempt to steal information and data, the new 5G network will be able to provide an even more effective tool for monitoring machinery, and will allow digital production management to reach a new level of efficiency.

Alessandro Di Stefano

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