Super fast “5G” mobile data networks will be vastly different than today’s 2G, 3G, 4G, says CEO Hans Vestberg, Stockholm-based Ericsson.
Sure it will be faster. But it will also be smarter and be located in weird spots, like telephone polls, he said on Monday at the Fortune Brainstorm conference in Aspen.
While 5G probably won’t be rolled out in networks worldwide for another five to 10 years, Ericsson already gave its first live demo of the 5G that it is developing earlier this month.
The reason it will be smarter is because the Internet of Things is coming in that same time frame. That’s where every object is added to the Internet, your cars, your pill bottles, your keys, everything.
“If you have a doctor following a remote patient, it’s important [that the network] know it’s a patient and not a connected car” he says. A problem with a patient might need to get priority on the network over a song downloaded to a car.
But cars are also going to need their own smarts as well. For instance, networks have to be much faster for things like autonomous cars (in Geek speak: they need to reduce latency). That speed needs to be instantaneous “if you want to auto-steer the cars.”
And finally, these networks will need to be bigger to handle all this traffic, particularly in cities. “70% of the population will be in cities by 2019,” he said. We need to “dense-ify the network. We cannot get big sites anymore in big cities.”
Unfortunately, he says, there’s no land left to buy to put towers and facilities. So Ericsson is thinking creatively about it.
It’s in a test right now with Phillips to put cell tower service in low-power, green smart light posts. called “zero sites.”
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