Ultra-fast data transmission (1 Gb/s), process digitization and enterprise transparency — these are signs that 5G is not far away. Read more in ICTV Facts on what we should expect from 5G.

In March, a dragon was flying over the Incheon baseball stadium in South Korea. Through the augmented reality, even those who watched it on YouTube felt the heat of the flames, sensed the flaps of its wings and heard it roar.

This is how South Korean SK Telecom presented the capabilities of the next data standard to the world — and they did not stop at that. In June, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung to implement joint R&D projects.

Cell phone providers crave universal 5G distribution more than anybody else. Hans Westberg, Verizon Communications CEO, promises that half of the US will be covered with the new standard network as soon as next year. Five US cities already pioneer access to 5G – four more cities and thirty major population centers will welcome the technology by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the analysts at Singapore’s Canalys Technology Forum estimated that 1.9 billion smartphones supporting 5G will be sold globally by 2022. By 2023, they will account for more than half of the total devices supplied. Most of them will end up in China, North America and the Asia Pacific.

Alexander Serbin, Huawei Ukraine Business Development Director, gives his assessment of the technology prospects. According to him and based on analytical reports, 5G will develop in three main stages.

The first wave will be implemented in 2019-2020: 5G already emerges in the most technologically developed countries, such as South Korea, the US, Japan, China. In the second phase — from 2020 to 2022 — the new standard will arrive in Western Europe. Later, by 2024, it will reach the CIS, Latin America and Africa.

Undoubtedly, the next-generation network will provide opportunities for new business models by making professional skills instantly available anywhere on the planet and even beyond. Imagine installing solar panels on the International Space Station while physically remaining in a blossoming orchard somewhere on Earth — this is how the Internet of Skills promises to complement the Internet of Things.

Ukraine and 5G

Demand for 5G capabilities is also increasing in Ukraine. Stepan Chernovetskyi, Head of Chernovetskyi Investment Group, told US Forbes that emerging markets might be more susceptible to 5G than developed countries.

His company is a serious player in the technology investment market of Ukraine, Eastern Europe and India, supports infrastructure projects and high-tech agriculture.

Today, more people have access to the Internet than ever before. That is why he believes that the next leap in global communication growth will be focused on emerging economies.

“Just four years ago, Ukrainians and other developing economies were lagging behind the rest of the world with access only to 2G or, at best, to EDGE. It was impossible not only to watch and broadcast online videos but just to load web pages. Now, after switching to 4G, you can use PayPass to buy goods from an old lady at a local market. Lots of Ukrainians are abandoning paper money and even old plastic cards,” Chernovetskyi says.

But the technology on its own is not enough. Mobile operators emphasize that Ukraine’s telecom market needs technological neutrality — permission for telecom operators to implement any communication standards at those frequencies that are already licensed and used, as well as the allocation of new frequency bands suitable for 5G.

According to Alexander Kohut, Regulatory Support Director at Kyivstar, without it, any new technology will be hampered by the shortage of frequencies.

5G areas

“New generation networks will transform entertainment technology. We will be able to take advantage of the full-fledged virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR). They will be realistic to the point of being able to deceive human sensory organs.

Augmented reality is promising for many industries, from tourism to gaming, due to such high-quality devices as glasses — certainly, improved in comparison with the existing models both in terms of handling convenience and capabilities in general,” says philosopher and futurist Eugene Piletsky.

You can follow the spread of augmented reality in entertainment through the continued efforts of Facebook: five years ago, the company acquired the Oculus start-up for $2 million to create a VR helmet that was not received well by the public, and now we expect a VR suit to make its appearance by 2025.

There are also examples of how technology influences tourism. A 5G hotel opened in Australia (although with only one suite), where a guest can play cloud games, stream videos, give augmented reality a try and use smart-home features.

Eugene Piletsky also warns about the potential downsides of the new technology. “Augmented reality is of great interest to the advertising industry as well. Culturally, we are already ready for it, just imagine the scenes of the future in the cyberpunk works — skyscrapers full of advertising. You will probably have to pay for a subscription to block it in augmented-reality glasses. But will it be possible to block absolutely everything?" Piletsky asks.